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Saving Money

5 Guaranteed Ways to Save Money on Groceries

  For the past few months I have made it a priority to save money on groceries. Previously, I shopped whenever the urge hit and bought whatever looked good, often spending $500 or more  a month at the grocery store. Well, no more. I’ve cut my budget to $350 a month, including household goods and dog food. Last month I came in close, but $.79 under budget. My old self would have called that a miracle, but there actually isn’t anything miraculous about it. If you follow these five steps, there’s no way you won’t save money on groceries. Don’t go to the Store. But we have to eat, right? Yes, but if you run by the store to grab one or two things, you usually end up buying more and picking up a rotisserie chicken on the way out instead of going home to cook.  Make one or two big shops a month and if you need to run in to buy milk or bananas, get only what you came for, and don’t go at dinner time! Make a Meal Plan. If you want to only shop once or twice a month, you have to know what to get so you won’t ...

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Reasons to Love Your Used Car

  If you don’t watch TV, turn on a computer, or listen to the radio, you might be immune, but for the rest of us, the end of the year comes with tons of  new car advertisements. This time of the year, to meet their quotas and pile in the 2013 models, every car manufacturer is trying to sell you a new vehicle. From zero percent interest, to cash back incentives, to celebrity spokepersons, after you see the adds, you might think you need one. Heck, even Suze Orman, personal finance guru and dealer of the “Suze smackdown” is hawking new Acuras this season. Before you start thinking this is such a good deal, remember these reasons to love your used car.   You Owe Less on a Used Car- Even if it isn’t paid off, you probably owe less on your current car than you would on a new one. We played musical cars for a while. Every three or four years, we traded in for a new model, insuring an ongoing car payment. The vehicles we have now have been paid off for a few years, and no amount of advertising or memory of  new car scent makes me want another ...

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Small Tips for Holiday Travel

  If you are getting ready to travel this holiday season, you’ve probably researched flights, hotels, and rental cars. It’s so easy to get caught up in the big things that you may forget to do some of the little things that can add up and save lots of money. If you are getting ready to hit the road, consider these small tips before you leave. Turn Down the Thermostat-Don’t forget to turn your thermostat down when you leave for a trip. You don’t want to turn the heat off in case it gets cold enought for your pipes to freeze, but you don’t need to heat the house for your furniture and clothes when you’re gone. We usually turn ours down in the fifties. It doesn’t usually get that cold in our house because we have a good amount of passive solar heat, but even if it did, things wouldn’t freeze. Bring Snacks- I especially like to bring snacks for the airport. Since you are a captive audience, they can charge whatever they want.  This also works well for road trips. Convenience stores can be almost as expensive as airports unless you are getting the 2/$1 chili dogs that have most ...

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Can Once a Month Cooking Help Your Grocery Budget?

If you have read this blog with any sort of regularity, you know that I am trying extremely hard to curtail our grocery spending. I’ve made attempts before, but like tons of busy families, we shopped too much and often restocked the things we eat most rather than coming up with ways to use up existing food supplies. I finally found a way to make myself stay away from the store: By playing the Grocery Game at Canadian Budget Binder. I know I sound like a broken record, but by posting everything you buy, you become much more aware of what you are spending money on. I have noticed that we spend way too much on snacks and convenience foods. I’m convinced Mr. CBB could whip up a yummy, frugal recipe out of a turnip and saltine crackers, so it’s a hard act to follow. Recently I’ve discovered the idea of having a cooking marathon one day a month from Mandy at  Money Master Mom and Catherine at Plunged in Debt. The idea is to cook like a fiend for one day so that you can take a cooking vacation for a few weeks. Also by having ready made meals in ...

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How To Have a Cheap European Holiday

 The following is a guest post from Pauline Paquin, a French girl who has recently started to blog over at Reach Financial Independence.  Pauline blogs about how she has been traveling the world for the past 10 years, while trying to build wealth and achieve financial independence, and how you can follow your dreams and reach your goals too. You can follow Pauline on Twitter @RFIndependence. Pauline and I are blog swapping today, so head over to her site and read my post about ways to take care of your eyes when traveling. If you would like to guest post, please see the guidelines and contact me, and you still have a few days to enter the giveaway for $100.         Traveling to Europe doesn’t have to be expensive, even though the Euro is pretty high these days. With some careful planning, you can secure good deals on flights, accommodation, and attractions.  Find a Cheap Flight to Europe First, search until you are blue! Depending on the day, the time, the length of you stay, and the route you chose, you can find great variations of price. For example, I just flew from Brussels to Cancún, Mexico. Flying from Paris ...

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