Frugal Living http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4800/Parse.ly/more en-US Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on Groceries at Walmart http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-on-groceries-at-walmart <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-on-groceries-at-walmart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-grocery-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_78606509.jpg" alt="couple grocery shopping" title="couple grocery shopping" 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 some great articles on ways to save money on groceries at Walmart, the golden rules of decluttering, and how to simplify your finances.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/walmart-savings-hacks">Walmart Hacks: 8 Ways to Save Even More Money on Groceries</a> &mdash; Shop early so you can be the first to get to yesterday's baked goods, or meat and produce that are close to their &quot;sell by&quot; date; these are usually marked down in the morning. [Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Declutter-Rules-34388673">12 Golden Rules of Decluttering</a> &mdash; Get into the habit of putting things back where they belong, right away! Don't give clutter the chance to build up. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://smartasset.com/personal-finance/10-ways-can-simplify-financial-life">10 Ways You Can Simplify Your Financial Life</a> &mdash; Designate &quot;no spend&quot; days&hellip; or even months! It may be difficult, but it'll go a long way to helping you identify which expenses are truly necessary and which ones you can dump. [SmartAsset]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.credit.com/2015/02/tips-for-being-frugal-foodie-109597/">8 Ways to Be a More Frugal Foodie</a> &mdash; Reorganize your fridge so that the items that will spoil soon are in plain sight. [Credit.com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bestkeptself.com/2015/02/25/6-reasons-why-making-fitness-a-priority-benefits-your-relationships/">6 Reasons Why Making Fitness a Priority Benefits Your Relationships</a> &mdash; You're able to give more to others when you make sure to take care of yourself first. [Best Kept Self]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.prolificliving.com/money-affirmations">25 Money Affirmations to Attract Wealth and Abundance</a> &mdash; If you don't think you can make money, then you won't! Focus on these money affirmations and change the way you think about money. [Prolific Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.wakeupcloud.com/dealing-with-sadness/">3 Proven Steps to Dealing With Sadness</a> &mdash; Something triggered your sadness &mdash; what is it? Dive into specifics, and write it down. [Wake Up Cloud]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/alternative-investments-besides-stocks-and-bonds-for-financial-freedom/">6 Alternative Investments Besides Stocks and Bonds to Help You Achieve Financial Freedom</a> &mdash; There are multiple ways to make money from real estate, like renting out property, flipping houses, or REITs. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditdonkey.com/network-better.html">23 Scientific Ways to Network Better</a> &mdash; Pay attention to your body language! Eye contact communicates confidence and intelligence, and smiling makes you more approachable. [Credit Donkey]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/raising-awareness-for-heart-disease-in-women">Raising Awareness for Heart Disease in Women</a> &mdash; It's important to know what the symptoms of a stroke and a heart attack are, as well as what to do when they occur. [Parenting Squad]</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-ways-to-save-on-groceries-at-walmart">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/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</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/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</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-meaning-of-milk-label-colors">The Meaning of Milk Label Colors</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-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips grocery shopping WalMart Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:00:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1314950 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid These 5 Hidden Costs of Winter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house-snow-winter-brick-Dollarphotoclub_29753128.jpg" alt="house snow winter" title="house snow winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As I type this article, the temperature outside is negative 17 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind chill? Negative 32. And this is, like, our fifth round of this frigid nonsense this year. We've gotten used to the cold, so I complain mostly to establish my clout as a northern girl who knows her winter weather and storms. As you might not know, there are costs hidden in the feet of snow dumped on our streets, the ice coating the trees overhanging our homes, and the plunging temperatures that seem unrelenting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter?ref=seealso">9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to avoid paying them.</p> <h2>1. Frozen Pipes</h2> <p>We had a plumber over the other day, and he was telling us about all the frozen pipes his team has been dealing with this winter. When pipes burst, they don't only dump water into your home. They run a path of destruction, ruining flooring, flooding furnaces, and more. The costs can be staggering. To avoid this unfortunate situation, make sure your pipes stay warm. The plumber explained to us that problems often arise when people go away and turn their heat down low, so keep your thermostat on a toasty 65 or higher. And learn where your <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFZwynKnbQE">main water shutoff valve</a> is so you can stop the worst damage before it starts.</p> <h2>2. Fire Hazards</h2> <p>When the weather gets frightful, people often turn to secondary heating source to supplement the furnace. They switch on things like electric or gas heaters, gas or wood stoves, and light up fireplaces. Whenever you're using a flame inside your home, make sure you're watching it carefully. Fire is one of the most costly tragedies because you could lose absolutely everything you own, including your home. Get your <a href="http://www.csia.org/about-csia/faq.aspx">chimney cleaned annually</a> to eliminate the risk of fire. And always open your flue the whole way, which will keep the airflow in proper order.</p> <h2>3. Fallen Trees</h2> <p>With all that ice and snow and wind, there's a risk that trees around your home might fall without notice. We've never experienced this one ourselves, but we did almost buy a home where several sick-looking trees were overhanging the property. I still walk by that place and wonder when the damage is going to happen. Although there's not a lot you can do to ensure those trees won't come crashing down onto your roof or worse, you can be proactive &mdash; especially since costs aren't always covered by insurance. If you have trees hanging close to your house, consider trimming them back. Remove rotting or sick trees entirely. You can often get a free quote for the work (get several), and though it might cost a lot upfront, you'll save costs later on.</p> <h2>4. Ice Dams</h2> <p>We've had some impressively long icicles this year. They're both beautiful and slightly terrifying at the same time. Not only do ice dams pose dangers to people hanging below, but they can also cause <a href="http://www.syracuse.com/weather/index.ssf/2015/02/snow_cold_means_icicle_season_in_cny_where_are_the_biggest_ones.html">some major roof problems</a> by blocking water from flowing freely. Try removing as much snow as possible from your roof. If that's not a viable option, try removing icicles or hire a professional to come out and do it for you. It will cost less to take care of an issue before it gets downright nasty. To prevent the dams next year, add more insulation to your attic and check out heated wires you can install on gutters that melt ice away.</p> <h2>5. Utility Costs</h2> <p>Now, with the electric components, especially heaters, utility costs can climb. Your heater could be costing you between $50 and $120 per month to run &mdash; and when you consider that winter lasts forever some places, that adds up fast. Try running your heater at minimum and &mdash; instead &mdash; layering up with warm clothes for free. Otherwise, some general home maintenance can take care of a lot of the dollars that are literally flying out your windows. Check around for drafts and cover them up. Get your furnace serviced to ensure it's running properly. Use thermal curtains to block cold air out on the worst days. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs?ref=seealso">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Utility Costs</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you control the high cost of a chilly winter? Let us know in comments!</em></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/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter">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/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs</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-to-remove-snow-and-save">How to Remove Snow and Save</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/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter">56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter</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/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</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/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter">9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home heating home maintenance snow winter Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1315155 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Easy Superfood Smoothies for a Better Morning http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-superfood-smoothies-for-a-better-morning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-easy-superfood-smoothies-for-a-better-morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/green-smoothie-Dollarphotoclub_74916705.jpg" alt="green smoothie" title="green smoothie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how many of us still skip our morning meal on occasion because we're just too busy? Smoothies to the rescue!</p> <p>You can toss many healthy ingredients, including those all-important superfoods, into your blender and pour into a travel cup to take on the go. Or &mdash; better yet &mdash; make smoothies in bulk and freeze them into cubes. Then, thaw a few cubes in a glass on your way to work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-nutritious-breakfasts-for-people-with-busy-mornings?ref=seealso">15 Nutritious Breakfasts for People With Busy Mornings</a>)</p> <h2>1. Avocado Smoothie</h2> <p>To make this <a href="http://www.shutterbean.com/2014/avocado-superfood-smoothie/">Avocado Smoothie</a>, you'll blend together blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, orange juice, yogurt, mint, and avocado. The recipe calls for agave nectar, but you can definitely leave that out and dip the natural sweetness of the fruits instead. For extra protein, try using Greek yogurt.</p> <h2>2. Kale Smoothie</h2> <p>This basic <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/kale-smoothie-recipe">Kale Smoothie</a> is amped up with pineapple, banana, and coconut milk. Blending kale can be tough on standard blenders, so if you like green smoothies, try using baby kale or cutting the stems off the leaf to make it incorporate better. If you plan to make lots of green smoothies, you might want to check out a high wattage blender; the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NGV4506/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00NGV4506&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7IEOGWW346WCVTMU">Ninja Blender</a> is powerful (over 1000 watts) without the hefty price tag.</p> <h2>3. Not-So Green Smoothie</h2> <p>Does the idea of sipping on greens sort of gross you out? This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/06/not-so-green-smoothie.html">Not-So Green Smoothie</a> is teeming with spinach, but you'd never know it. Use nut butter (almond, peanut, sunflower) and cocoa powder to transform the color and flavor to milkshake proportions. For extra creaminess, add in a few chunks of frozen banana.</p> <h2>4. All Green Smoothie</h2> <p>Alternatively, you can whip up this <a href="http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/spring-detox-smoothie/">Spring Detox Smoothie</a>, which is all green things combined. You'll blend kale, arugula, pea shoots, cucumber, and avocado with coconut water and some lemon juice. The result is rather zesty, so if you'd like to tone it down, the author suggests adding a bit of fruit (blueberries, raspberries, etc.).</p> <h2>5. Kiwi Smoothie</h2> <p>This tasty <a href="http://www.kitchennostalgia.com/drinks/kiwi-smoothie.html">Kiwi Smoothie</a> will infuse your body with a dose of vitamin C. You can, again, choose to leave out the sweetener in the recipe if you're trying to watch sugar in your diet. Some people enjoy using a few pitted medjool dates in place of sweeteners since they're lower on the glycemic index. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-slow-cooker-breakfast-ideas-for-lazy-cooks?ref=seealso">12 Delicious Slow Cooker Breakfasts for Lazy Cooks</a>)</p> <h2>6. Black Bean Smoothie</h2> <p>Stay with me on this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/07/breakfast-beans-chocolate-smoothie.html">Black Bean Smoothie</a>. The superfood beans pack some impressive protein without artificial powders and other add-ins. And from experience &mdash; you won't even notice you're drinking beans. The peanut butter, cocoa powder, and banana mask the flavor so all you're left with is a dreamy creamy texture.</p> <h2>7. Apple Smoothie</h2> <p>An apple a day might keep the doctor away, so why not try this fruit-filled <a href="http://www.my-healthy-eating-secrets.com/apple-smoothie-recipe.html">Apple Smoothie</a>? Apples contain powerful antioxidants that might help ward off some cancers. Plus, they taste good and can be purchased on the cheap. I like to buy gigantic bags of apples to keep on hand for smoothies, baking, and general snacking.</p> <h2>8. Sweet Potato Smoothie</h2> <p>There's a ton of buzz around sweet potatoes in the health food community, and for good reason. This <a href="http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2013/09/sweet-potato-smoothie/">Sweet Potato Smoothie</a> contains lots of potassium, fiber, and vitamin A, among other key nutrients. Best yet, this recipe helps eliminate food waste by using up any stray potatoes that might be lurking in your kitchen. Just peel, boil, chill, and blend.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite superfood smoothie? Share yours in the comments below!</em></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-easy-superfood-smoothies-for-a-better-morning">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/the-best-and-worst-nuts-by-nutrition-and-price">The Best and Worst Nuts, by Nutrition and Price</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/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes">9 Make-Ahead, Freezable Hot Breakfast Recipes</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/tasty-healthy-breakfast-cookies-with-chocolate-covered-espresso-beans">Tasty, Healthy Breakfast Cookies With Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans</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/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes">25+ Delicious, Healthy, and Cheap Bean Recipes</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/25-breakfast-for-dinner-meals">25 Breakfast-For-Dinner Meals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink breakfast healthy eating smoothie superfood Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1306010 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Avoid Buying Electronics You'll Regret http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mp3-player-Dollarphotoclub_30124781.jpg" alt="mp3 player" title="mp3 player" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They're shiny and new right out of the package, and too often, they cost a pretty penny. They are the gadgets we drool over when they first make an appearance in stores, sometimes after standing in line for hours to be among the first to get their hands on them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-as-seen-on-tv-kitchen-gadgets-that-are-actually-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">6 &quot;As Seen on TV&quot; Kitchen Gadgets That Are Actually Worth the Money</a>)</p> <p>While I've never considered myself enough of a fanatic to go to ridiculous lengths to buy a tech tool, I do love cutting edge features. I've loved them enough to get something based on hype and then have deep regrets afterward. Here are just a few of my most notable instances of gadget buyer's remorse.</p> <h2>1. Replacement &quot;Toys&quot;</h2> <p>Every holiday, the toy commercials blast the gospel of how great a toy that acts like a tablet will be for your baby/toddler/preschooler. And for a few weeks, the kids are always amazed that they can play games, take photos, and edit videos in a similar fashion to their adult counterparts.</p> <p>But then the magic ends; kids realize soon enough that their tablet is <em>not</em> the same as an iPad. The limitations are too obvious, and for the price of a typical toy tablet, you can easily get into an entry-level adult tablet with all the protective gear you need to keep it safe from spills and drops. It will last the child far longer than a gadget aimed at babies, and you'll avoid finding it unused in the bottom of the toybox. This rule goes for anything that has been &quot;kiddified&quot; for marketing purposes (such as toy phones, cameras, and music players).</p> <h2>2. Cheap Versions of Popular Products</h2> <p>That $35 MP3 player that looks like an iPod Touch &mdash; but isn't &mdash; is what we're talking about here.</p> <p>While there is no shortage of websites selling no-name versions of the product you really want, usually you are better off saving your money for the real thing. Not only is there an issue of quality to consider (can you even reach customer service for an unpronounceable tech company?), but compatibility is always a cause for concern. I remember getting three of my kids nifty music players that held just as many songs as an Apple product, but the file format turned out to be incompatible with most of the software we used for buying songs. The day-to-day implementation of these products was frustrating, and we ended up just giving them away.</p> <h2>3. Tech in the Midst of a Standards Battle</h2> <p>Remember Betamax? Laserdisc? HD-DVD?</p> <p>These were all technologies embroiled in a bitter war during a competitive early market. All lost to other technologies, leaving the owners of their products with pretty worthless gadgets (and libraries of obsolete media.) If you're on the fence about whether your tech of choice is actually <em>the</em> &quot;tech of choice,&quot; you may want to wait a bit before buying. I know no one who is proud of their investment in the losing competitor.</p> <h2>4. Printers With Expensive Refill Cartridges</h2> <p>Investing in tech can be a lot like playing the stock market: You really have to know your stuff to avoid making a significant investment in something that could tank hard down the road. If there is any technology more vulnerable to this than the printer, I don't know of it. Most mainstream printers (both inkjet and toner) start out at a rather high price point, only to become significantly cheaper in the months following their release.</p> <p>Their ink solutions, however, can come way down or stay very high, and this is what is baffling for many consumers. Another factor in how cheap the ink will get is whether knock-off cartridges will be made for that model. Those that accommodate &quot;remanufactured&quot; ink products can save 75% or more for the user, but it's impossible to tell when or if your model of printer will be one of the lucky ones upon it's original release to market. (We regret every printer purchase we've ever made with ink that costs more per cartridge than the actual printer can be bought for.)</p> <h2>5. Mini-Anything</h2> <p>Little blenders. Tiny food processors. Baby coffee machines. Unless you are a hardcore follower of the &quot;tiny house&quot; movement, there is almost no good reason to spend just as much on a small version of a powerful kitchen or DIY tool as its full-sized counterpart. For one, most smaller appliances are lacking in power or quality parts. I have a lazy Susan full of these baby gadgets that were given to me as gifts, picked up for a dime during Black Friday, or just found their way into my home from a yard sale. In a cook-off between them and my mega-powerful-father-of-all versions, they lose. Every single time. So keep your three cup coffee brewers and invest in a 10-cup machine. You don't have to fill it all the way if you don't want to.</p> <p><em>What tech gadgets do you regret buying?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret">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-4"> <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/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted</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/tech-savvy-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Tech-Savvy People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</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-to-save-money-on-ipads-iphones-and-macs">6 Ways to Save Money on iPads, iPhones, and Macs</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/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</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/craigslist-vs-ebay-where-to-sell-10-common-items">Craigslist vs. eBay: Where to Sell 10 Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology dumb buys gadgets tech wasted money Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1308848 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Know If Trading In Your Car Makes Financial Sense http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-know-if-trading-in-your-car-makes-financial-sense <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-know-if-trading-in-your-car-makes-financial-sense" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-keys-car-dealership-Dollarphotoclub_45456128.jpg" alt="woman car keys" title="woman car keys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do all of those car commercials on television have you thinking about trading in your car for a bright, shiny new ride? Follow the steps below to decide it makes more financial sense to buy a new vehicle rather than keep repairing your current one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-spend-on-a-new-car?ref=seealso">How Much Should You Spend on a New Car?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Take a Long Hard Look at the Car You Already Have</h2> <p>A new car always looks tantalizing. If we start focusing too much on the prospect of a new car, though, all of a sudden we start noticing every minor thing that may be wrong with our current car. My former boss, Bob G., always used to say, &quot;I never like to invest in things that rust.&quot; A car, outside of a classic car, is not an investment. It's an expense, and a pricey one at that.</p> <p>So look at your existing car honestly. Does it run well? Is it reliable? Does it match the needs you have right now? If you answered yes to these questions, delay your purchase of a new vehicle.</p> <h2>2. Calculate the Total New and Existing Costs</h2> <p>Buying a new car is only part of the expense. Do a side-by-side cost comparison of the total cost of a new car compared to your current vehicle.</p> <p>Include the purchase price (plus interest), as well as the cost of maintenance and repair.</p> <p>In some states like Virginia, you pay a specific tax every year based upon the blue book value of your car, so make sure to include those types of costs as well. You might be surprised to see that sticking with your existing car for a few more years, and socking away all that extra money you would have spent on a new car now, is a wise financial move.</p> <h2>3. Check With Your Financial Institutions</h2> <p>Just as you get pre-qualified for a mortgage, it's also a great idea to get pre-qualified for a car loan. You'll find out the total amount you'll be approved to spend, as well as the interest rate on the amount borrowed. You may find that there are actions you can take over the next year to improve your credit that will reduce your rate, and perhaps increase the amount you are approved to borrow. These actions could include paying down other debts, increasing your income, or clearing up any mistakes that may currently be on your credit report.</p> <h2>4. Time Your Purchase</h2> <p>In general, October, November, and December are the best times to buy a car because dealers offer a number of incentives to make way for the next year's models and hit annual sales goals. Also, it's best to shop at the end of the month because dealerships need to hit certain sales quotas by then, so they're more likely to cut you a deal to make the sale.</p> <h2>5. Do Your Research</h2> <p>If you're thinking about getting a new car, do your research. Read reviews of vehicles, check safety ratings and gas mileage, talk to friends, and test drive vehicles that interest you. It's also important to sit down and really think about what you want in a vehicle. What are your non-negotiables and what is the ranked list of your preferences such as safety, size, gas mileage, features, and design?</p> <p>A new car is an incredible feeling. I know because I just bought one the last week of October 2014. I'm glad I did my research, closely examined my finances, and timed my purchase well. I never had a shred of buyer's remorse. Follow this checklist and you'll make a choice that feels good &mdash; and is good for your finances, too.</p> <p><em>Are you ready to replace your heap? What steps are you taking?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-know-if-trading-in-your-car-makes-financial-sense">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-5"> <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/is-this-the-best-search-engine-ever-for-new-used-cars">Is This the Best Search Engine Ever for New &amp; Used Cars?</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/car-buying-part-1-going-for-broker">Car Buying Part 1 - Going For Broker.</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/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</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-simple-ways-to-start-living-on-less-today">10 Simple Ways to Start Living on Less Today</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/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living car buying car loan new car Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Christa Avampato 1289835 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Sustainable Frugality Tips http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-sustainable-frugality-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-sustainable-frugality-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-biking-green-living-Dollarphotoclub_68208399.jpg" alt="woman biking" title="woman biking" 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 some great articles on sustainable frugality tips, healthy snacks that are cheaper to make at home, and a new obstacle to Amazon's drone delivery.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2015/02/23/10-sustainable-frugality-tips.html">10 Sustainable Frugality Tips</a> &mdash; Challenge your creativity! Before you rush out to buy something you need, see if you can fill that need by repurposing something you already have. [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/3398/cheap-healthy-homemade-snacks">10 Healthy Snacks You Can Make at Home for Less</a> &mdash; Store-bought dips are backed with fats and preservatives. Homemade dips, on the other hand, are cheaper, healthier, and easy to make! [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0218/Amazon-drone-delivery-Not-so-fast-says-FAA">Amazon Drone delivery? Not So Fast, Says FAA</a>&nbsp;&mdash; Newly proposed rules say that drones may not fly outside their pilot's line of sight or drop cargo. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/When-Toss-Food-31004011">Safe to Eat? When to Toss These 25 Foods</a> &mdash; Store-bought eggs remain good for 3-5 weeks after purchase, and it's better to put them at the center of the fridge than in the egg trays on your fridge's door. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/get-best-deal-on-a-new-car">7 Tips to Help You Get the Best Deal on a New Car</a> &mdash; Before you talk financing with the car dealership, check with your bank to see what car loan rates are available to you. [Money Under 30]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/6-months-self-employed/">What I Learned in My First 6 Months of Being Self-Employed</a> &mdash; Pricing can be tricky, especially when you're just starting out, but make sure you don't undervalue yourself! [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/20-diy-body-scrubs-anyone-can-make">20 DIY Body Scrubs Anyone Can Make</a> &mdash; For an easy chocolate scrub, combine a teaspoon of powdered sugar with a quarter of a bar of chocolate, all chopped up, and massage onto your face, neck, arms, and chest. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stackthechips.com/7-income-streams-anyone-can-create/">7 Income Streams Anyone Can Create</a> &mdash; If you have a gym membership, see if your health insurance plan offers fitness benefit reimbursement. [Stack The Chips]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/7-traits-highly-successful-identity-thieves/">7 Traits of Highly Successful Identity Thieves</a> &mdash; They make a lot of money but rarely get rich. They tend to very generous, especially with friends and family, so the money just flows through their hands. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/bad-weather-remedies-13-awesome-inside-activities">Bad Weather Remedies: 13 Awesome Inside Activities</a> &mdash; You can set up your own indoor mini golf course with things you find around the house. [Parenting Squad]</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-sustainable-frugality-tips">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-6"> <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/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</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/5-ways-to-know-if-trading-in-your-car-makes-financial-sense">5 Ways to Know If Trading In Your Car Makes Financial Sense</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/10-simple-ways-to-start-living-on-less-today">10 Simple Ways to Start Living on Less Today</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/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</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-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips frugality tips Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:00:12 +0000 Amy Lu 1310858 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Times You Should Always Rent Clothes Instead of Buy http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-always-rent-clothes-instead-of-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-times-you-should-always-rent-clothes-instead-of-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-wedding-dress-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_42245067.jpg" alt="couple dress shopping" title="couple dress shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While special occasions often require you to dress to the nines (and who doesn't want to look their best on a big day?), it isn't always economical or smart to run out and buy new clothes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-acquire-cheap-formal-wear?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Acquire Cheap Formal Wear</a>)</p> <p>Often, expensive clothing will only be worn a few times &mdash; or worse, only once. (Unless, of course, you're a professional socialite.) Thankfully, we now have designer clothing rental sites like <a href="https://www.renttherunway.com/dress/search?mkwid=s8DLJdyUe_dc&amp;pcrid=59006108581&amp;campaign=PPCBRANDNYC&amp;adgroup=Trademark%7CTrademark&amp;KY=rent%20the%20runway&amp;matchtype=e&amp;source=google&amp;device=c&amp;mcampaign=Branded%7CTrademark%7CNYC%7CExact&amp;utm_source=google&amp;utm_campaign=Branded%7CTrademark%7CNYC%7CExact&amp;utm_term=rent%20the%20runway&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_content=s8DLJdyUe_dc%7Cpcrid2%7C59006108581%7Cpkw2%7Crent%20the%20runway%7Cpmt2%7Ce&amp;gclid=CKDG296y08MCFRc8gQod6ZIAiw">Rent the Runway</a>, where it's possible to rent that $1,000 Badgley Mischka dress for a mere fraction of retail. Neighborhood consignment stores, or tux and bridal rental shops are also good alternatives. Here are six times when you should always rent, rather than buy.</p> <h2>1. Weddings</h2> <p>Finding true love and standing before family and friends to attest your commitment to each other is one of life's most important celebrations. But the cost of a wedding dress or tuxedo can run up to thousands of dollars &mdash; and you'll only wear it once in your life. Rent instead of buying and put the extra savings toward starting your new life. Members of the wedding party should also consider renting, if possible.</p> <h2>2. Anniversaries</h2> <p>It should always be a priority to look our best for the one we love. What better way is there to keep the spark alive than by being creative and trying new things? A simple way to mix things up is by changing your look. Rent instead of buying to experiment with different looks and surprise your spouse.</p> <h2>3. Proms</h2> <p>Sure, prom dresses can be re-used at other formal events &mdash; but unless you know your social calendar is full of fancy galas, you should avoid permanently investing in expensive attire. Prom is a one-time event; don't splurge on buying an outfit, and put the savings toward making the night even more memorable in other ways.</p> <h2>4. Class Reunions</h2> <p>Most of us dread class reunions. Although they present an opportunity to reconnect with old classmates and friends and catch-up, we know our former classmates can't wait to size us up, so we often feel pressured to look our best. But don't fall prey to this mentality. Class reunions are yet another time when we should rent instead of buying. Instead, consider working on your physical fitness or personal accomplishments if you really want to wow your old friends.</p> <h2>5. Black Tie and Red Carpet Events</h2> <p>Everyone looks their best at black tie and red carpet events. Often, these types of events are well photographed for marketing purposes and receive lots of press coverage. This is definitely a time when you should rent instead of buy, because chances are you will get your moment in the spotlight. And most of us can more easily afford to rent a fabulous designer outfit than buy one. (see also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-that-seem-like-splurges-but-are-actually-savvy-buys?ref=seealso">6 Things That Seem Like Splurges But Are Actually Savvy Buys</a>)</p> <h2>6. Photo Shoots</h2> <p>Glamour photography, corporate photo shoots, and family portraits are all occasions to look your best. If your wardrobe isn't already equipped with clothing well-suited to the task, consider renting an outfit that will highlight your best features. Photos live forever, but dollars wasted on unnecessary clothing purchases don't.</p> <p><em>Have you ever rented an outfit for a special occasion? How'd it go?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-always-rent-clothes-instead-of-buy">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-7"> <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-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</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/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</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-clothes-shopping-hacks-that-save-time-and-money">9 Clothes Shopping Hacks That Save Time and 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-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</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/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style clothing rental fashion formal attire formal clothes Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:00:06 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1304190 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Tricks for Enjoying Fine Dining on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-lunch-fancy-restaurant-Dollarphotoclub_55224714.jpg" alt="couple fancy restaurant" title="couple fancy restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's nothing quite like a luxurious meal that's carefully made, served to you under romantic lighting, and placed onto a fresh white tablecloth. Sadly, the price can be prohibitive for many of us, and instead we end up spending our night with takeout and a bottle of $5 wine (not that there's anything wrong what that!). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-swanky-sauces-to-glamorize-dinner?ref=seealso" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.38;">8 Swanky Sauces to Glamorize Dinner</a>)</p> <p>The good news is that armed with a few tips, you can enjoy fine dining without emptying out your savings. As always, a good place to start is the Internet: Pick a few restaurants you are interested in and look up their websites, reviews and local publications. There you can find some valuable information, like a sample of prices, what meals they serve, what kind of dishes they offer, and if they have any special deals. Keep an eye out for coupons on deal sites and seasonal events like Restaurant Week. And be sure take a look at the following seven hacks for an enjoyable dining experience without the bummer ending.</p> <h2>1. Go for Lunch</h2> <p>Many fine dining establishments are also open for lunch, and while some just serve a smaller menu of the dishes they serve for dinner at the same price, others offer some real deals.</p> <p>Bouley, a well-known and well-loved restaurant in New York City is known for their tasting menus. Their dinner version is six courses and costs a cool $185, while their five course lunch version is $55. It may not have all of the same flourishes, but you are still eating a fancy pants tasting menu at Bouley without having to take out a second mortgage.</p> <p>Blackbird, a celebrated spot in Chicago offers a lunch prix fixe that is $25 for three courses, which is cheaper than most of their single dinner entrees. They also offer a complete lunch menu that runs half the price of their dinner menu. Check out your restaurant of choice's menus and compare lunch and dinner to see if they offer midday bargains.</p> <h2>2. Go on a Weeknight</h2> <p>Not surprisingly, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times at all restaurants, let alone the really nice ones. Some establishments offer discounts or special (cheaper) menus on weekdays, especially Monday through Wednesday &mdash; Tuesday is statistically the least busy day for restaurants. Call or check a restaurant's website to find out if they offer weekday deals. City publications also like to do articles about such deals, like this round-up of <a href="http://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/restaurants/cheap-eats-in-la-the-best-restaurant-weekly-specials">Weekday Dinner Deals in LA</a>.</p> <p>Little Dom's, a popular Italian spot in Los Angeles that frequently serves celebrities, offers a $15 three-course family-style dinner on Monday nights along with drink specials. Just an entree can run up to $30 on a normal night, making a Monday night reservation a no-brainer.</p> <h2>3. Eat at the Bar</h2> <p>Restaurants don't just put a bar in their upscale dining rooms so that the liquor and bartender have someplace to hang out &mdash; it also adds seating without taking up as much room as tables. To reward you for sitting elbow to elbow with your stranger neighbors, many places offer bar specials, happy hours, or even an entire menu only available at the bar.</p> <p>Spago is Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Beverly Hills and is highly regarded by eaters and critics alike. The bill can easily surpass $100-200 per person even at lunch, but luckily they have a bar with it's own &quot;bar bites&quot; menu. Go during happy hour from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and order a drink and some &quot;bites&quot; and relish in the fact that you're sitting in Spago without maxing out your credit card. Call your local fine dining spots and see if they have <a href="http://lovehappyhour.com/Articles/July2013/UpscaleHappyHoursLA.html">similar deals</a>. Be sure to mention that you want to eat at the bar when making your reservation.</p> <h2>4. BYOB</h2> <p>While some fine dining spots are pushing their 15-page wine lists, others are becoming more open-minded. A surprising number of restaurants are offering BYOB now, even if they offer wine.</p> <p>Goosefoot, largely hailed as one of the best restaurants in Chicago, permits BYOB with just a $10 corkage fee. The food will still cost you a pretty penny, but you'll save big bucks on your drinks while eating top-notch food. Look for articles about <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2013-06-28/chicago-restaurants-byo-fine-dining">BYOB spots in your city,</a> or call and ask about a restaurant's policy. Then do a little math and compare their drink prices with bringing your own plus the corkage fee. The numbers are often in your favor!</p> <h2>5. Don't Buy $50 Leftovers</h2> <p>Finally time to order? Take a look around. What are people ordering? How big are the portions for appetizers and entrees? How much food are they ordering? Pay attention to the details and it will help prevent over-ordering and a $50 leftover situation. Make a plan with your fellow diners and share dishes so that everyone can try more things without over-ordering.</p> <h2>6. Hold That Drink Order</h2> <p>All wait staff is trained to ask for your drink order immediately, or even offer you a drink while you wait for a table. While there is nothing wrong with this policy, since you might be thirsty or might actually want a drink, they also do it in hopes that you'll order more drinks as the night goes on. Start early and you can easily be a drink in before you even order your food. Alcohol charges can add up quickly, so hold that drink order until you order food and enjoy your wine with the meal. Or, if you're a digestif fan, wait for dessert. If you don't want to give up that pre-dinner drink, pregame at home or at a lower-priced bar. It can also help to make a drink limit for yourself at the beginning of the night and stick to it.</p> <h2>7. Skip the Extras</h2> <p>Or, to really save money, don't order drinks at all. Drink orders can easily double your bill since alcohol typically <a href="http://deadspin.com/why-the-hell-does-your-drink-cost-so-much-1454231900">has the highest mark-up</a> at restaurants. You came for the food anyway, right? Plus, more alcohol equals more spending in more ways than one: a tipsy diner is more likely to order whatever they please and be surprised at their credit card bill later. If the restaurant isn't known for their desserts, then skip that, too, and grab some of your favorite ice cream on the way home instead. It will extend your fun night and save you an extra $10-$20.</p> <p><em>How do you enjoy fine dining for less?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-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-8"> <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-secrets-restaurants-dont-want-you-to-know">6 Secrets Restaurants Don&#039;t Want You to Know</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/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</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/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dining out Fine Dining restaurants Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1304189 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How You Remove Stains From Almost Anything http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clothes-stain-spray-botle-Dollarphotoclub_56523622.jpg" alt="clothing stain cleaning" title="clothing stain cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've become somewhat of a stain-fighting ninja in the last three years. There are a lot of great things that go along with having kids, but there also are lot of spills and stains. In fact, as I type this article, I'm staring down at some blueberry my kid just smeared on my shirt cuff. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt?ref=seealso">6 Secret Homemade Stain Removers That Kick Butt</a>)</p> <p>So ancient ninja code dictates that I now share some of that stain-kicking knowledge with you.</p> <h2>Cotton</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xJgAfPvRYDQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Splatters on your white cotton shirt got you down? The number one tip here is to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJgAfPvRYDQ&amp;spfreload=10" style="text-decoration:none;">attack the stain ASAP</a> &mdash; before you toss it in the laundry. Blot oil stains with a clean cloth before covering with baking soda for a half hour before brushing off. Wine gives way to salt and cold water. Coffee and other stains flush away with a generous amount of white vinegar. It's also a good idea to use a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=pre%20wash%20stain%20bar&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apre%20wash%20stain%20bar&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=TKQLCI2AEI5TOBEI">pre-wash stain bar</a> to the area before laundering with like-colors.</p> <h2>Silk</h2> <p>So, full disclosure: I don't wear silk anymore. But those of you who do might like to know that gross oil stains clean up easily with a <a href="http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/dressed/2014/04/silk-dress-got-a-major-oil-sta">sprinkle of baby powder</a> if you let it sit for around 30 minutes. And if you don't have powder on hand, you can try some Splenda or Sweet 'n Low in its place. Try those techniques before heading to the dry cleaner. For red wine, skip the club soda and <a href="http://laundry.about.com/u/sty/laundryproblems/Your-Laundry-Questions-And-Answers/How-to-Remove-Red-Wine-from-a-Silk-Blouse.htm">soak for eight hours</a> in OxiClean and water. Repeat as necessary. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips?ref=seealso">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a>)</p> <h2>Leather</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5xGnSCponJo?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Whether it's on a couch or purse, leather is extremely susceptible to marks of all sorts. The good news is that most of these stains clean up easily with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xGnSCponJo">soapy water and leather cleaner</a>. You can purchase the cleaner at leather stores for around $7-$10. Otherwise, you spritz the water, squeeze the cleaner, and then gently buff with the back side of a scrubbing sponge. You can revitalize dry or cracked leather by using a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003IS3HV0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003IS3HV0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RJ6JYQNWNINNRC7I">leather conditioner</a> that will last you years.</p> <h2>Wool</h2> <p>My mom's trick for removing stains from wool items (sweaters, scarves, hats, etc.) is to get at the culprit as soon as possible. Remove whatever is on your item and then mix together some vinegar and wool cleaner in a 1:1 ratio. Soak the area and blot inward to prevent the stain from spreading beyond its borders.</p> <h2>Microfiber</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/miFR5xWnafI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>We bought a microfiber chair thinking it would stand up to kids better than other materials. Wrong. It gets just as stained as anything else. To clean it you first want to see what type of material it's made from by checking the tag. Some require water while others need solvents. Water is a no-brainer, but using solvents can be confusing. You can actually <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miFR5xWnafI">use rubbing alcohol</a> in place of anything specific for cleaning microfiber. Spritz onto the material, wipe with a cloth &mdash; paying attention to particularly stained areas &mdash; and let air dry.</p> <h2>Car Interior</h2> <p>Ah, yes. Stains aren't confined to clothing and living spaces alone. The back seat of our vehicle takes a daily beating &mdash; but not to worry. I actually clean my car interior with a 1:1 ratio mix of water and vinegar. For hardened messes, I use a tooth brush to scour. If that doesn't cut it, I also use a mix of water and castile soap to power in, rinse, and repeat as necessary.</p> <h2>Carpet</h2> <p>Most carpet stains from food respond to a good stain soaking. Start off with dunking a cloth into a solution that's <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/cleaning-stain-removal/carpet-stain-solutions">&frac14; teaspoon of dish detergent</a> and one cup of lukewarm water. Blot the carpet stain and let rest for 15 minutes. Then repeat this process, but with a mix of one cup vinegar with two cups water. Let sit again before finishing off with plain water. Continue cycle until the stain is gone. The vinegar should take care of pet odors as well.</p> <p><em>How do you remove tough stains? Share your tips in comments!</em></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/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything">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-9"> <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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">6 Secret Homemade Stain Removers That Kick Butt</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/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That 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/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</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-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home cleaning stain removal stains Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1302531 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Make Cheap Food Taste Delicious http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-cheap-food-taste-delicious <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-cheap-food-taste-delicious" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cooking-salad-kitchen-Dollarphotoclub_76336361.jpg" alt="woman cooking kitchen" title="woman cooking kitchen" 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 some great articles on ways to make cheap foods taste delicious, how to create a minimalist wardrobe, and tips to help you save on pet costs.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/6-ways-make-cheap-foods-taste-delish/">6 Ways to Make Cheap Foods Taste Delicious</a> &mdash; Simple adjustments to your cooking technique can bring out huge flavors in your food. For example, roast veggies instead of boiling or steaming, and cook rice with chicken stock instead of water. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/the-classy-frugal-ladys-guide-to-creating-a-minimalist-wardrobe">The Classy (&amp; Frugal) Lady's Guide to Creating a Minimalist Wardrobe</a> &mdash; Pick a color scheme and set a few style rules to limit the clothing pieces you buy. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/life-style/new-cat-or-dog-save-money-on-pet-costs-with-these-5-tips/">New Cat or Dog? Save Money on Pet Costs With These 5 Tips</a> &mdash; Buy quality pet food. It'll cost more upfront, but your pet's health (and fewer vet trips) is worth it! [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/5-Meals-34402716#photo-34402716">Make These 86 Amazing Meals for $5 or Less</a> &mdash; Make roasted shrimp and spaghetti squash if you want some pasta without the carbs! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2015/0217/Starbucks-launches-a-delivery-service-that-brings-coffee-to-your-front-door">Starbucks Launches a Delivery Service That Brings Coffee to Your Front Door</a> &mdash; Starbucks' new subscription service will deliver a bag of their gourmet coffee within 3-5 days of being roasted at the Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-steps-to-healthy-teeth">8 Steps to Healthy Teeth</a> &mdash; Soda and juice contain A LOT of sugar. If you need a refreshing drink, go with water instead. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/credit/T025-S001-proven-tactics-to-overcome-big-debts/index.html">Proven Tactics to Overcome Big Debts</a> &mdash; Michelle Schroeder-Gardner paid off $40,000 in seven months by taking side gigs and creating other streams of income. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/how-to-be-stress-free-this-tax-season/">How to Be Stress Free This Tax Season</a> &mdash; You don't have to do your taxes in one sitting! Take a break to refresh yourself during the process. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/how-to-teach-kids-the-value-of-a-dollar/">How to Teach Kids the Value of a Dollar?</a> &mdash; &quot;Farmer Boy&quot; by Laura Ingalls Wilder contains a great lesson about the value of money. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/ready-landlord/">Are You Ready to Be a Landlord?</a> &mdash; Pick a city with a strong rental demand, like college towns, military bases, and urban centers. [Listen Money Matters]</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-ways-to-make-cheap-food-taste-delicious">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-10"> <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-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</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/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples">15 Delicious and Dollar-Wise Winter Staples</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/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen</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/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</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/beyond-beef-tasty-frugal-protein">Beyond Beef: Tasty, Frugal Protein</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips Cheap Food Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1308809 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-drinking-coffee-cafe-Dollarphotoclub_69832554.jpg" alt="woman drinking coffee" title="woman drinking coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you a coffee lover, but you abstain for health reasons? Or do you love snacking on popcorn, but rarely indulge because it's a &quot;junk food?&quot; Then good 'ole science has your back. The following eight foods have gotten a bad rap over the years, but in fact can play a big part in a healthy diet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coffee</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coffee%20cup%20shop.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>We've long been told that drinking coffee will lead to a long list of ills: stunted growth, heart disease, and even cancer. It turns out that no correlation has been found between these conditions and drinking coffee, and that people who drink coffee regularly tend to be healthier overall.</p> <p>Coffee has been shown to do exactly what you think it does: decrease risk of depression and improve cognitive function. Studies have also shown that <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/coffee-and-health/faq-20058339">coffee may even have long-term health benefits</a>, such as protection against diabetes, liver disease, and Parkinson's disease. The key is to stop at two cups a day &mdash; over-consumption can lead to risks, especially for individuals with a specific genetic mutation. And go easy on the cream and sugar.</p> <h2>2. Potatoes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/roasted%20potatoes.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Before you speed off to the drive-thru, no, we're not talking about french fries. Potatoes are often vilified because of the way we tend to eat them: fried or loaded with butter and cheese. But on their own, these starchy vegetables are actually a <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&amp;dbid=48">low-calorie, high-fiber food</a>. Potatoes are loaded with vitamin B6, which helps build and support cells, and other vitamins and minerals like potassium. New studies show that potatoes may also help regulate blood sugar. Try preparing a delicious side dish of skin-on, cubed potatoes roasted with olive oil and garlic.</p> <h2>3. Eggs</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/sunny%20side%20up%20eggs.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Worried about your cholesterol? No eggs! That's what we've been told for years, and the cholesterol content in egg yolks has scared away many people who are concerned about their health. Luckily, we've learned over the past 30 years that saturated fat intake has more to do with raising cholesterol levels in the blood than consuming cholesterol from food. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/good-eggs-for-nutrition-theyre-hard-to-beat?page=1">Eggs are incredibly high in protein </a>and have just 75 calories per egg, along with a whole host of nutrients. Balance is key for a healthy diet &mdash; if you have a couple of eggs for breakfast, limit your saturated fat intake for the rest of the day. You should still consult your doctor before adding eggs to your diet if you have high cholesterol.</p> <h2>4. Peanut Butter</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peanut%20butter%20toast.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>At last, you can feed your kid (and yourself) that peanut butter sandwich without worry. Not many people think of this popular nut butter as a health food, but in moderation it can contribute to a healthy diet. <a href="http://www.prevention.com/food/smart-shopping/healthy-eating-why-peanut-butter-good-you">Peanut butter is high in protein and fiber</a>, so even though it's high in calories, it will keep you full for longer and in turn stop you from eating more. It is also rich in vitamin E and magnesium, and studies show that eating nuts or nut butter may help prevent diabetes. Be sure to select a brand that is low in sodium and sugar and has natural ingredients.</p> <h2>5. Alcohol</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/beer%20sampler.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol-full-story/">Alcohol can be healthy</a>, but self-control is key. An all-night binge session doesn't count as healthy by a long shot, but a glass of wine every night does a body good. A large number of studies have shown that moderate drinking (one drink per day for women, two per day for men) can considerably decrease your risk for cardiovascular diseases. Alcohol can also reduce risk for gallstones and Type 2 diabetes. It's important to remember that if drinking exceeds healthful levels, alcohol swiftly becomes bad for your health. Excessive drinking has the opposite effect, increasing your risk for heart problems and potentially causing major liver trauma.</p> <h2>6. Canned Beans</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/baked%20beans%20can.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Canned food items have been criticized in recent years due to concerns over <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/26/283030949/government-studies-suggest-bpa-exposure-from-food-isn-t-risky">leakage of the plastic additive BPA</a>. Some also believe that canned products are not as nutritious as their fresh, dried and frozen counterparts. Recent studies have shown that we don't have to pick convenience over health &mdash; BPA has shown to be harmless in normal amounts, and canned beans are <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/dried-beans-vs-canned-beans-nutritional-values-3026.html">nutritionally comparable to dried beans</a>, with only slightly fewer nutrients. The key is to buy cans with &quot;no salt added&quot; or rinse salted beans well to remove much of the added sodium. Store leftover beans in a container and not in the can.</p> <h2>7. Popcorn</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/popcorn%20pot.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When thinking about junk food, popcorn is a snack that often comes to mind. High-calorie movie theatre versions laden with fake butter, oil, and salt are to blame. Many microwave brands are also loaded with chemicals and harmful fat. Homemade popcorn, on the other hand, is a whole grain, high in fiber and low in calories. One cup of air-popped popcorn has just 31 calories and zero grams of fat, and contains essential B vitamins and minerals. Try popping some at home for <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/399546-how-healthy-is-popcorn/">a healthy snack</a>.</p> <h2>8. Whole Milk and Yogurt</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/whole%20milk.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Because full-fat dairy is high in saturated fat, we've long been told to avoid it. Many people reach for the low-fat and fat-free varieties of milk and yogurt when they visit the dairy aisle. More saturated fat means more body fat, and less means less, right? According to some studies about the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/12/275376259/the-full-fat-paradox-whole-milk-may-keep-us-lean">impact of full-fat dairy on weight</a>, this may not be true. Subjects that consumed whole milk and dairy were more likely to have a trim waistline than those that didn't. Scientists aren't sure why this is the case, citing feeling satiated or a change in metabolism as possible causes. There is one thing we do know: full-fat organic dairy contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, making it a healthy choice when eaten in the right amounts.</p> <p><em>Have you been avoiding any of these allegedly harmful foods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">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-11"> <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-health-foods-that-are-actually-making-you-fatter">10 Health Foods That Are Actually Making You Fatter</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-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages">The 6 Most Surprisingly Unhealthy Beverages</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-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</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-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</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/great-ways-to-get-calcium">Great Ways to Get Calcium</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty food science healthy food nutrition unhealthy food Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:00:09 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1302599 at http://www.wisebread.com Never Miss Free Ice Cream Again: Complete Calendar of Annual Free Stuff Days http://www.wisebread.com/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baby-ice-cream-476416437-small_0.jpg" alt="baby ice cream" title="baby ice cream" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people say that there is no such thing as a free lunch &mdash; but there are several companies that are working hard at disproving this saying. Check our calendar and mark these days to pick up awesome freebies ranging from brownies to pancakes to comics.&nbsp;</p> <p>(Click on the image for a larger view)</p> <p><a href="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>Embed this infographic:<br /> <textarea style="width:590px;height:65px;">&lt;a href=&quot;http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</textarea></p> <h2>January 19: National Popcorn Day</h2> <p>Every January 19th on <a href="http://www.popcorn.org/AboutUs/Media/NationalPopcornDay/tabid/115/Default.aspx">National Popcorn Day</a> several movie theaters across the country offer a bag of free popcorn.&nbsp;</p> <h2>February 14: Valentine's Day</h2> <p>Qdoba offers a buy one get one free burrito but you kiss someone for it. Starbucks is holding the &quot;World's Largest Starbucks Date&quot; on February 13, from 2pm to close. There will be a special menu for $5 pairings.</p> <h2>March 4: National Pancake Day</h2> <p>Separate from International Pancake Day, every March 4th IHOP offers a <a href="http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/index.html">free short stack of three buttermilk pancakes</a>. Offer is limited to dine-in guests visiting between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on that day, while supplies last.</p> <h2>March 20: First day of Spring</h2> <p>Rita's offers a free limited edition cup of Italian ice.</p> <h2>March or April: Ben &amp; Jerry's Free Cone Day</h2> <p>Since 1979, Ben &amp; Jerry's stores offer a <a href="http://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/free-cone-day">free ice cream scoop every year</a>. The day happens <em>sometime</em> during March and April, so you have to stay tuned for the company's announcement.</p> <h2>April 15: Tax Day</h2> <p>As a reward for making your federal tax deadline of April 15th, several business offer you freebies:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://arbys.com/articles/We-gave-free-curly-fries-away-on-Tax-Day">Curly fries </a>from Arby's&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Free popcorn at AMC Theaters<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Free chips and queso or salsa at California Tortilla<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>2 cinnabon cinnamon bites (6pm-8pm) at Cinnabon<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Small coffee (during breakfast hours) at McDonald's<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152748696710440&amp;set=a.10151429531275440.856833.54000790439&amp;type=1">Birthday cake cookie</a> from Great American Cookies<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Entree from Hard Rock Cafe, but you have to win it by <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/sing-supper-hard-rock-cafe-131500387.html">singing a song on stage</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.officedepot.com/speciallinks/us/od/docs/taxcoupons_shredding.pdf">Shredding of up to five pounds of documents</a> courtesy of Office Depot<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.hydromassage.com/taxday.htm">Water-based massage session</a> from Hydromassage including locations at participating Planet Fitness</li> </ul> <h2>April 22: Earth Day</h2> <p>On Earth Day, you can:</p> <ul> <li>Receive free plantable bookmarks for kids at Pottery Barn.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Score a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152325304405450&amp;set=a.10150763108990450.463068.361297095449&amp;type=1&amp;theater">free organic milkshake</a> at Evos stores.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Enter a <a href="http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm">National Park for free</a> (Note: Additional free entrance dates are Martin Luther King Jr Day, Presidents Day weekend, National Park Service Birthday, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.)</li> </ul> <h2>April 26: National Pretzel Day</h2> <p>For over three decades and by U.S. Congress decree people celebrate National Pretzel Day. Every April 26th, Philly Pretzel Factory, Pretzelmaker, and <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140422-912906.html">Snyder's of Hanover</a> give out free pretzels. In 2014, Pretzelmaker gave away <a href="http://www.pretzelmaker.com/npd/">65,000 free pretzels</a>.</p> <h2>First Saturday in May: Free Comic Day</h2> <p>Held the first Saturday in May, <a href="http://www.freecomicbookday.com">Free Comic Day</a> is the day in which participating comic book stores across North America give away free comic books. Most stores give at least one free comic book, but some are more generous than others. Check with your local retailer for their Free Comic Day offerings.</p> <h2>Second Saturday in May: Mother's Day</h2> <p>Moms work very hard all year round, so they deserve to get free stuff on their day:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Denny's: Free dessert with 2 entrees</p> </li> <li> <p>First Watch Cafe: <a href="http://www.firstwatch.com/press-release/first-watch-celebrates-mothers-day-with-free-chocolates-for-mom">Free box of chocolates</a> for dine-in Moms</p> </li> <li> <p>Hooters: Free meal for mom, up to $10, with any drink purchase</p> </li> <li> <p>McCormick &amp; Schmicks: Chocolate-covered strawberry for every dine-in mom</p> </li> <li> <p>Shoney's: Free slice of strawberry pie with buffet or entree</p> </li> <li> <p>Starbucks: Each year Starbucks offers various special discounts</p> </li> <li> <p>TCBY: Free 6 ounce cup of frozen yogurt&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>T.G.I. Friday's: Free appetizer (with app download)</p> </li> <li> <p>The Pasta House: Free meal for moms with entree</p> </li> <li> <p>Tony Roma's: Free meal for dine-in moms</p> </li> <li> <p>Zoe's Kitchen: Free piece of Yaya's Chocolate Cake with entree</p> </li> </ul> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: georgia; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.4em; background-color: transparent;">Sometime in May: Häagen-Dazs Free Cone Day</span></p> <p>Not to be outdone by Ben &amp; Jerry's, Häagen-Dazs offers a free cone from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at over 250 locations in the U.S. This day happens <em>usually</em> within the first three weeks of May, so be on the lookout for the official company announcement. Get there early, as in 2012 <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/free-haagen-dazs-ice-cream-for-all-on-tuesday-may-8-find-out-where">over 41,300 free scoops</a> were served in New York City alone! Vanilla is the flavor that usually runs out first.</p> <h2>First Friday in June: National Donut Day</h2> <p>Celebrate the first Friday of June with a free donut at <a href="http://www.krispykreme.com/NationalDoughnutDay">Krispy Kreme</a>, <a href="http://www.lamars.com/salvationarmy/?doing_wp_cron=1401989510.1354689598083496093750">LaMar's Donuts</a>, and Shipley Do-Nuts. Places requiring a purchase are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.timhortons.com/us/en/about/6056.html">Tim Hortons Cafe &amp; Bake Shop</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://news.dunkindonuts.com/Press-Releases/A-SWEET-DEAL-ROUND-THE-WORLD-DUNKIN-DONUTS-TO-OFFER-FREE-DONUTS-FOR-NATIONAL-DONUT-DAY-ON-JUNE-6-499.aspx">Dunkin' Donuts</a>, and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152074806937301&amp;set=a.92826962300.97395.85010727300&amp;type=1&amp;comment_id=10152081915277301&amp;offset=0&amp;total_comments=6">Cumberland Farms</a>. Also, check your local donut shop because several, such as <a href="http://www.kitv.com/news/thismorning/head-to-regal-bakery-for-national-donut-day/26367480">Regal Bakery</a> in Honolulu, will honor this day.</p> <h2>June 10: National Iced Tea Day</h2> <p>Enjoy a cold iced tea every June 10th to cool down during a hot summer. Two retailers that consistently participate in this day are <a href="http://corp.7-eleven.com/Newsroom/2013NewsReleases/TeaforFREEat7ElevenisAwesummer/tabid/565/Default.aspx">7-Eleven</a> (free Snapple tea) and <a href="http://news.starbucks.com/news/teavana-celebrates-national-iced-tea-day-on-june-10-by-offering-free-bevera">Teavana</a> (free tea with purchase).</p> <h2>June: Father's Day</h2> <p>Every third Sunday of June, the King of the House can get freebies at:</p> <ul> <li>Bucca di Beppo: <a href="http://offers.bucadibeppo.com/Coupons/FathersDay/FreeCannoli/">Free cannoli</a> for dine-in dads.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Einstein's Brothers Bagels: BOGO sandwich<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hooters: Buy 10 wings, get 10 free for dads<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Spaghetti Warehouse: Free&nbsp;<a href="http://www.40meatballs.com/?page_id=1618">original recipe spaghetti or lasagna</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>TCBY: Free 6 ounce cup of frozen yogurt&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>T.G.I. Friday's: BOGO with the purchase of two beverages<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>July 11: 7-Eleven Day</h2> <p>Every July 11th 7-Eleven offers <a href="http://corp.7-eleven.com/Newsroom/2010NewsReleases/OhThankHeavenIts7ElevenDay/tabid/428/Default.aspx">free 7.11-ounce Slurpee drinks</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>July 11: Cow Appreciation Day</h2> <p>After you grab free 7-11 Slurpee, dress up as a cow and head to a Chic-fil-A restaurant for a free meal. Yes, <a href="http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Cows/Appreciation-Day">Cow Appreciation Day</a> is a real thing.</p> <h2>September 17: Free queso day</h2> <p>Head over to Mae's Southwest Grill for a free bowl of queso (11am-9pm).</p> <h2>September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day</h2> <p>Go the Krispy Kreme and get your free donut by talking pirate to the cashier. You can also get a free piece of fish from Long John Silver's.</p> <h2>September 29: National Coffee Day</h2> <p>Every September 29th coffee retailers offer a free small coffee. Some companies that participate are Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Lamar's Donuts, and McDonald's. Other retailers who offer BOGO are Eintstein's Bros Bagels, Noah's Bagels, and Peet's Coffee.</p> <h2>November 11: Veteran's Day</h2> <p>During this holiday in November, veterans and active duty military can get free meals at:</p> <ul> <li>Applebee's</li> <li>Bar Louie</li> <li>BJ's</li> <li>California Pizza Kitchen</li> <li>Chili's</li> <li>Claim Jumper</li> <li>Denny's</li> <li>Famous Dave's</li> <li>Friendly's</li> <li>Golden Corral</li> <li>Hurricane Grills &amp; Wings</li> <li>IHOP (free pancakes)</li> <li>McCormick &amp; Schmick's</li> <li>Olive Garden</li> <li>On The Border</li> <li>Perkins</li> <li>Red Robin</li> <li>Sizzler</li> <li>Texas Roadhouse</li> <li>T.G.I. Friday's</li> </ul> <p>Free coffee at:</p> <ul> <li>Einstein Bros Bagels&nbsp;</li> <li>Krispy Kreme (donut &amp; coffee)</li> <li>McDonald's</li> <li>Noah's Bagels</li> <li>Roy Rogers</li> <li>Starbucks</li> <li>Tim Hortons (free donut)</li> </ul> <p>Free appetizer at:</p> <ul> <li>Carrabba's</li> <li>LongHorn (Texas Tonion &amp; non-alcoholic beverage)</li> <li>Outback (Bloomin' Onion and beverage)</li> <li>Red Lobster</li> <li>Ruby Tuesday</li> </ul> <p>And many more! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-military-discounts?ref=seealso">Big List of Military Discounts</a>)</p> <p>NOTE:&nbsp;Most locations will ask for valid ID.</p> <h2>Sometime in December: Free Shipping Day</h2> <p>Christmas shopping procrastinators rejoice! On <a href="http://www.freeshippingday.com">Free Shipping Day</a>, participating online retailers provide you free shipping for your purchase. This day happens sometime in December so stay tuned.</p> <h2>December 4: National Cookie Day</h2> <p>Check out stores like Great American Cookies and Quiznos to get your free cookie!</p> <h2>December 5: Repeal Day</h2> <p>In honor of Repeal Day, local bars will have deals aplenty to celebrate all the great things about legalized drinking.</p> <h2>December 8: Brownie Day</h2> <p>On December 8th, get a <a href="http://www.restaurantnews.com/celebrate-national-brownie-day-with-a-free-brownie-at-nestle-toll-house-cafe-by-chip/">free brownie</a> at participating Nestle Toll House Cafe locations.</p> <p>There you have it. Set an annual reminder for these freebie days, so you don't forget them.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What is your favorite day of the year to get freebies? Please share in comments!</em></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/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days">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-12"> <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-find-really-free-freebies">How to Find Really Free Freebies</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/free-12-month-supply-of-contact-lens-cases-coupons">Free 12-month supply of contact lens cases &amp; coupons</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/i-went-christmas-shopping-with-fake-money">I Went Christmas Shopping With Fake 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/are-you-getting-these-5-things-for-free">Are You Getting These 5 Things for Free?</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/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar">Hurray! Annual Freebie Calendar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping free stuff freebies giveaways Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1151051 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Discount Stores That Are More Expensive Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/walmart store.jpg" alt="walmart store" title="walmart store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you think you're getting a great bargain by shopping at big box stores that market themselves as purveyors of incredibly low prices, you may want to think again. Consider the alluring &quot;loss leader&quot; pricing strategy, for example. America's discount retailers draw you in by selling certain items at or below cost. But, they make up for lost profits on those dramatic mark-downs by selling you other, higher-priced products during that same visit. By the time you reach the register, the amazing savings you reaped from that doorbuster special is reduced by all the other higher-priced items you purchased. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-retailers-manipulate-you-into-spending?ref=seealso">How Retailers Manipulate You Into Spending More</a>)</p> <p>Stores use a variety of such techniques to make themselves only <em>seem</em> cheaper than they really are. Read on for our roundup of some of the big name stores that are more expensive than you think.</p> <h2>1. Walmart</h2> <p>&quot;Always the Lowest Price. Always.&quot; That's the original Walmart slogan. But the world's biggest retailer was forced to stop using it when the National Advertising Review Board ruled that <a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/03/07/97586/-Wake-Up-People-Wal-Mart-s-Prices-Aren-t-That-Low#">Walmart's lowest price claim simply wasn't true</a>. Perhaps a more accurate tagline would have instead utilized the word &quot;sometimes.&quot;</p> <p>Indeed, some of Walmart's items are priced lower than anywhere else. Those key products are strategically chosen commodities that customers like you tend to know the going price of. Therefore, you know a steal when you see one, such as 25 cent cans of Progresso soup or a Dyson upright vacuum for $369. Eventually, you see enough good deals and assume everything Walmart sells is cheap. Alas, it is not. If you pile up your shopping cart with a mix of good deals, bad ones, and regularly priced items, you've merely neutralized your big savings, while helping Walmart achieve its bottom line.</p> <h2>2. Target</h2> <p>Though it caters to the fashion-forward shopper rather than the self-identified thrifty one, Target sells many of the same products as Walmart. In fact, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/2012/10/23/66b97b8e-17d0-11e2-9855-71f2b202721b_story.html">80% of the merchandise sold in Target and Wal-Mart is identical</a>, according to Charles Fishman, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143038788/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0143038788&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2VZCDYFUMQHVVWZW">The Wal-Mart Effect</a>. The two stores also offer the same discounts. A recent comparison by Bloomberg Businessweek found only a 46 cent difference between the two retailers per $100 of purchases. You'll save those 46 cents at Target, the analysis found, although Walmart usually wins independent price comparisons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target?ref=seealso">How to Find the Secret Deals and Biggest Markdowns at Target</a>)</p> <h2>3. Dollar General</h2> <p>Despite the name, not everything here is a dollar or less. And even when it is, you're not necessarily getting bang for your buck. Case in point: The price tag on bulk goods at Dollar General is often lower due to <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/dollar-tree-to-buy-family-dollar-for-74-50-a-share-1406542575">smaller unit counts</a>, but they can be higher per piece. For instance, an analysis by the Wall Street Journal found a 28-pack of Pampers diapers sells for $10, or 35 cents per diaper, on Dollar General's website. But the same diapers on Walmart's website sells in a 180-pack box for $45.97, or 25 cents per diaper. So, yes, you can get diapers for less money at Dollar General. But they'll cost you 40% more per diaper than if you were to buy a bigger bulk package at Walmart.</p> <h2>4. Amazon Prime</h2> <p>The $99 annual fee you must pay to gain membership to Amazon Prime gets you free two-day shipping on selected products. If you're a fairly frequent Amazon Prime shopper, a membership should work out in your favor. But beware: As a Prime customer, you may not always be presented with <a href="http://www.geekwire.com/2014/amazon-boosts-prime-membership-99-cites-fuel-transportation-costs/">the cheapest item</a>.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.geekwire.com/2014/amazon-shoppers-question-whether-prime-membership-scam/">GeekWire analysis found</a> that a search for a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker turns up a Prime-eligible product that costs $49.95 for free two-day shipping. But if you were to click on more options, the same slow cooker is available from a different seller for $38.01 plus $11.99 for shipping, for a grand total of $50. In this case, as a Prime customer, your $99 membership fee would save you a mere 15 cents.</p> <p>In another scenario, the analysis found a vacuum cleaner filter from Dirt Devil was actually cheaper if you didn't use your Prime account. The Prime item cost $13.49, but another vendor was charging $12.74, plus free shipping. Now, this isn't always the case. Often the Prime-eligible item is the cheapest one. But if you are a sporadic Prime shopper rather than a loyal one, or if you don't want to have to dig to ensure you're getting the best deal, a Prime membership might not be worthwhile for you.</p> <h2>5. Kohl's</h2> <p>At Kohl's, <a href="http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/02/22/consumerwatch-investigation-finds-kohls-sale-prices-arent-always-a-deal/">sales prices aren't always what they seem</a>. A CBS hidden-camera investigation conducted between November 2011 and January 2012 found that the discount retailer was in the habit of marking up items as much as $100 from earlier levels before putting them on sale. For Pattie Woody, the result is that the $202.99 sheet set she purchased at a 50% discount had actually been priced at $169.99 before the sale, the investigation found. The pre-sale markup meant that Woody really only saved 40% rather than the advertised 50%. In another example, a twin sheet set was listed at half off the original price of $89.99. But inside the plastic zipper, the earlier price tag read $49.99, indicating the sale was only a $5 savings from the original tag.</p> <p><em>What other tricks do big-name retailers use to make you spend more?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think">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-13"> <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-amazon-url-hack-generator-save-big">The AMAZON URL hack generator. Save 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/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</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/party-like-its-1999-the-psychology-of-pricing">Party Like It&#039;s 19.99: The Psychology of Pricing</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/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon discounters pricing retail WalMart Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:00:06 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1302020 at http://www.wisebread.com Choosing the Wrong Color Can Cost You Big on These Purchases http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car dealer-colors-Dollarphotoclub_69826725.jpg" alt="car dealer " title="car dealer " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People generally chalk up color to personal preference when making a purchase, but what about those times when that choice can actually cost money? Strangely, I spend a lot of brain space thinking about the impact of color on my finances.</p> <p>I'm typing this article from the comfort of my new coral pink yoga mat. Coral is one of my favorite colors. Also, I am way more excited than I should be about the fact that it looks like a giant stick of chewing gum.</p> <p>Even though my yoga mat comes with a lifetime guarantee and I bought it at a 15% discount, it wasn't the best purchase I could have made. If I had been focusing on long-term savings rather than how I could add cinnamon fragrance to my mat for the ultimate Big Gum Workout Experience, I would have bought the black version of the same mat.</p> <h2>Black Hides Dirt &mdash; and Requires Less Care</h2> <p>A black mat would hide a lot of dirt. By buying the coral mat, I've basically resigned myself to spending extra time, water, and money keeping my yoga mat clean&hellip; forever.</p> <p>Who am I kidding? I know I'm going to be known by my fellow yogis as &quot;that girl with the filthy pink mat.&quot;</p> <p>I'm so grateful that I look good in black. Because otherwise I would be wearing some dingy looking clothes. As much as I fantasize about wearing white jeans, it's not going to happen. Just thinking about the cost of dry cleaning gives me hives.</p> <p>By now most people have heard about the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Overdressed-Shockingly-High-Cheap-Fashion/dp/1591846544">environmental damage</a> and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/24/bangladesh-building-collapse/2108727/">human misery</a> caused by clothes manufacturing. What continues to go under-reported is the fact that the care and cleaning of clothing is actually more taxing to the environment than clothing production. How you clean your clothes and how often you have to clean your clothes can really make a difference to the planet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making?ref=seelaso">11 Laundry Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making</a>)</p> <h2>White Cars Roll Cooler &mdash; and More Visibly</h2> <p>Light colors are not without benefits. The Car of Torture I drove in high school was burgundy. During Arizona summers, a dark paint job turns an automobile into a furnace on wheels. Although I literally drove home from my summer job everyday wearing oven mitts (pro tip: don't touch a black steering wheel in 120 degree weather with your bare hands), I still have scorch marks on my back fat where I accidentally branded myself with the metal end of the seatbelt.</p> <p>After the unrelenting sun exposure oxidized the burgundy paint job on my car, giving it a distinctly scabby look, my parents agreed to repaint the car white. The color change instantly lowered the interior temperature by 10 degrees.</p> <p>As an adult living in Los Angeles, I only drive white cars. Although the smog keeps my white car looking disreputable at all times, it saves me money in two major ways.</p> <p>First, who has right of way at a four way stop in Los Angeles? The driver of the crummiest car, obviously. A dirty white car saves me on fender benders because other cars give me wide berth.</p> <p>All kidding aside, I drive a white car for visibility at night&hellip; to other drivers. My father, a retired head and neck surgeon, only drives yellow cars because he knows from years of treating accident victims that yellow cars are among the least likely to be <a href="https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/CarColorAndSafety.pdf">passively involved in accidents</a>. Most car buyers don't think about paint color as a safety feature, but the cost of buying the wrong color car could be your life.</p> <p>Despite its connection to fire engines, red is actually a hard color to see, especially at night, when people's color vision is distorted. In fact, the common belief that drivers of <a href="http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/redcars.asp">red cars get more speeding tickets</a> is an urban legend.</p> <p>Secondly, the clear coat on my white car has also oxidized, but the damage is much less obvious than it would be on a darker color, and much <a href="http://guidetodetailing.com/damage-repair/how-to-restore-faded-oxidized-paint/">easier to repair</a> with Clay Bar detailing versus new paint.</p> <p>Finally, in hot climates, light colored cars get better gas mileage, because they stay cooler without the use of air conditioning. While I love the look of leather seats, I can't look at a black car with a black leather interior and not think the driver doesn't have brain damage. Or, maybe those drivers are just really into pain and never wear shorts.</p> <h2>A White Roof Is Cheaper, Too</h2> <p>Dark colored cars aren't the only way people are wasting their air conditioning. I'm getting ready to paint my black asphalt tiled roof white to <a href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/cool-roofs">reflect heat and save energy</a>. White roofs have been touted as a major way people could help <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Responsible-Tech/2008/1003/how-white-roofs-shine-bright-green">slow global warming</a>. However, repainting the roof is a big no for people who live in areas that have cold, dark winters because white roofs <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35125043/ns/us_news-environment/t/white-roofs-do-cool-temps-study-finds/#.VNm5Y1PF9Cy">make homes harder to heat</a>.</p> <h2>Color Is a Powerful Advertising Tool</h2> <p>Color is also a powerful tool for driving consumer purchasing. Just like my yoga mat purchase, <a href="http://savvypanda.com/blog/selecting-colors-to-influence-client-buying-behavior.html">85% of shoppers place color</a> as a primary reason why they buy a particular product.</p> <p>In addition to aiding in brand recognition, an award-winning study in 2013 revealed that even the background color on a webpage influenced spending. Researchers discovered that shoppers were more likely to spend more money on an auction site like eBay after being exposed to a red background. However, the same shoppers were less likely to spend money on a fixed priced site after being exposed to red.</p> <p>Men seem to be especially sensitive to red, even <a href="http://jht.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/04/16/1096348012442546">tipping red uniformed waitresses more money</a>.</p> <h2>Some Colors Stimulant Appetite &mdash; and Spending</h2> <p>Red and yellow are also <a href="http://www.shape.com/blogs/fit-list-jay-cardiello/color-control-eat-less-workout-more">appetite stimulants</a>, which is why just about every fast food chain uses those colors in everything from their logos to their décor. Cornell University psychology researchers discovered that <a href="http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/color_plate.html">plate color</a> affects how much people eat. When researchers reduced the color contrast between food and the plate, study participants served themselves 22% less food. Just reducing the color contrast between the plate and the tablecloth reduced consumption by 10%!</p> <p>Over the past decade well-meaning consumers have been snookered out of their hard earned cash by an increasing number of products <a href="http://thegreenwashingblog.com/2014/02/25/marketing-and-greenwashing/">pretending to be environmentally responsible</a>. In addition to greenwashing, consumers now have to be on the lookout for <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/15/komen-pinkwashing-problem-planned-parenthood">pinkwashing</a>. Caused-based shopping as charity is problematic because everyone from <a href="https://www.facebook.com/nopinkwashing">fracking</a> companies to <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/15/komen-pinkwashing-problem-planned-parenthood">gun manufacturers</a> have tried to clean their dirty karma (and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/10/21/komen-is-supposed-to-be-curing-breast-cancer-so-why-is-its-pink-ribbon-on-so-many-carcinogenic-products/">carcinogenic products</a>) under the guise of helping find a cure for breast cancer.</p> <p>Luckily, pink isn't just used to defraud charitable shoppers. It's still used for good by medical professionals. According to <a href="about:blank">this study</a>, researchers discovered that Baker-Miller Pink (AKA bubblegum pink) has a calming effect. Just looking at the color slows people's endocrine systems and loosens muscles.</p> <p>Baker-Miller Pink. The perfect color for a yoga mat. I feel so vindicated.</p> <p><em>Does color influence your spending decisions? What color will you pay more for?</em></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/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases">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-14"> <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/advertising-jargon-that-aims-to-mislead">Advertising Jargon That Aims to Mislead</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/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t">25 Products You Think You Need, but Really Don’t</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/orange-makes-you-buy-more-and-other-sneaky-store-smell-tricks">Orange Makes You Buy More (and Other Sneaky Store Smell Tricks)</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/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</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/marketing-messes-with-your-head">Marketing Messes With Your Head</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping advertising color marketing Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1299971 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways You're Being Tricked to Spend More http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-youre-being-tricked-to-spend-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-youre-being-tricked-to-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-shopping-market-Dollarphotoclub_78052004.jpg" alt="happy woman shopping" title="happy woman shopping" 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 some great articles on the ways you're being tricked into spending more, how to decorate on a budget, and the ways your employer can help you save money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/science-shopping-9-sneaky-ways-youre-tricked-spending.html">The Science of Shopping: 9 Sneaky Ways You're Being Tricked to Spending More</a> &mdash; The priciest items will be at eye level. If you want to save some dough, look up and down for cheaper options. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/5-quick-tips-for-decorating-on-a-budget/">5 Quick Tips for Decorating on a Budget</a> &mdash; Revamp the furniture you already have with new hardware, new lamp shades, or a wallpaper lining. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2015/02/7-ways-to-save-money-through-your-employer/">7 Ways to Save Money Through Your Employer</a> &mdash; You may be able to get discounts on travel and entertainment through your employer. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.phroogal.com/5-money-saving-apps-shopaholic/">5 Money Saving Apps for the Shopaholic</a> &mdash; Shopkick shows you the latest deals at popular retail stores, and you can earn points to turn into gift cards&hellip; without even buying anything! [The Phroogal Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2015/02/18/self-love-today/">Simple Self-Love: The Top 10 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself Starting Today</a> &mdash; If you're having a mediocre day, take one small step towards something positive. Set up a coffee date with a friend, try a new hobby, or research a trip you want to take. [The Positivity Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/What-Your-Biggest-Weakness-Interview-Question-33900029">4 Rules for Answering the Weakness Question</a> &mdash; When asked about your weaknesses, be honest &mdash; but not TOO honest. Avoid weaknesses that will hurt your chances of getting the job. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbriana.com/healthy-breakfast-ideas-anyone-can-make/">Healthy Breakfast Ideas Anyone Can Make</a> &mdash; Breakfast burritos are easy to make ahead of time for a quick breakfast or an on-the-go snack. [Bargain Briana]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/7-things-that-might-killing-your-relationship.html">7 Things That Might Be Killing Your Relationship</a> &mdash; The desire to control another person, especially a partner, is rooted in fear and insecurity. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/chinese-new-year-activities">Chinese New Year Activities</a> &mdash; It's never a bad thing to learn about other cultures and traditions. Chinese New Year is already under way, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate! [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2015/02/18/4-realistic-ways-save-half-income.html">4 Realistic Ways to Save Half Your Income</a> &mdash; If you don't already have multiple income sources, create one (or two!) and send that money directly into savings. [Everybody Loves Your Money]</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-ways-youre-being-tricked-to-spend-more">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-15"> <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/22-supermarket-tricks-you-havent-heard-yet">22 Supermarket Tricks You Haven&#039;t Heard Yet</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/4-ways-stores-trick-us-into-impulse-buys-and-how-to-resist">4 Ways Stores Trick Us Into Impulse Buys (And How to Resist)</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/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</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-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret">5 Ways to Avoid Buying Electronics You&#039;ll Regret</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-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips retail tricks Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1301686 at http://www.wisebread.com