Savvy Shopper Magazine
"Here to Help You Find The Bargains & Discounts"
You can SAVE
1. Clip Coupons and Sign Up For you favorite Store’s
2. Purchase Smaller Quantities of Perishables & Purchase Produce from a
Local Farmers Market.
3. Purchase Items on Sale & Always Use Coupons.
4. Purchase Paper Products & Cleaning Items in Bulk
5. Make sure that the expiration or best-to-buy-by dates on the items that you purchase
are still good
6. Brown Bag Your Lunch & Brew Your Own Coffee
Upcoming Events in Your Area
Saving Money at the Grocery Store
Do you want to learn how to save, invest, and manage your money better?
MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you do it better. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 federal agencies government wide.
The tool kit contains the following publications:
Consumer Action Handbook – A resource directory that provides information on how contact specific businesses and local consumer protection offices.
Consumer Advisory on Forex Fraud – Information about foreign currency fraud.
Consumer Information Catalog – Listing of consumer education resources available from the Federal Citizen Information Center.
Get the Facts on Saving and Investing – Provides helpful tips and worksheets for calculating net worth, income, and expenses.
Insuring Your Deposits – Information about how FDIC insures deposit accounts at banks and savings associations.
Money Smart – Learn about the FDIC’s financial education program for adults.
Questions You Should Ask About Your Investments – Advice on questions to ask before investing.
Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future – Provides guidance on preparing a personal savings
plan and for retirement.
Social Security: Understanding the Benefits – Get details on retirement, disability, survivor's benefits, Medicare, SSI and more.
You Can Get Out of Debt
Don't Pay Your Minimum Balance
If you're like most Americans, you have debt. If you're like many Americans, you try not to think about just how much debt you have and what it's really costing you. If you did think about it, you might not sleep well.
But ignorance never was bliss, and in order to get out from under the burden of debt, you need to face the uncomfortable (and perhaps downright ugly) truth: it may take you 30 years to pay off that credit card balance.
How can this be, you ask? You may have balances totaling less than $5000. Surely this will be paid off in no more than a couple of years. The credit card company wouldn't let you take so long to repay them, would it?
The answer is: yes, it would. In fact, if you took 30 years to pay off your balance, you would be the ideal customer.
It's important to understand that the credit card companies don't allow you to pay back your debt in small amounts out of the kindness of their hearts.
This is how they make their money. Paying the minimum payment (usually around 2% of your balance) each month, guarantees that you will be filling the credit card company's cash coffers with your hard-earned money for many years to come.
You should be absolutely unwilling to pay only the minimum balance on your credit cards each month. If you can't afford to pay more than the minimum balance, you can't afford whatever it was you charged to the card in the first place.
Your payments include both interest and principal (the amount you borrowed). When you pay only the minimum payment, most of it goes towards interest, which is why it takes so long to pay off the original debt. You wouldn't pay $7,000 for an item that is clearly marked with a $2,000 price tag, would you? Yet that is exactly what you're doing when you buy it using a credit card with an 18% interest rate and then only pay the minimum balance each month. No wonder you feel like you just can't get ahead!
If you need to buy on credit, at least do it with your eyes wide open. If you're already in debt, use these tips to get out and get ahead:
Don't get any deeper into debt. Save the credit card with the most favorable terms and cut the rest up. Put the one you saved in a safe place (not in your wallet) and use it only for emergencies (not to include a big sale at Macy's!)
Pay more than the minimum balance. Much more.
Shop around for cards with low interest rates, but beware of come-ons that offer a low introductory rate and then take a big jump. The Internet makes choosing a credit card easy, but be sure to read ALL the fine print.
Move balances on cards with high interest rates to cards with lower interest rates.
Use your savings to pay down debt. It makes no sense to earn 1 to 3% interest on your savings account while paying 12 or 15 or 18% interest on credit cards.
Come up with a written plan for reducing your debt systematically.
Add up all the money you spend each month on credit card payments, and think about what you could do with this money if you weren't paying it to the credit card company.
One of the best methods of systematically paying off your debts is what I refer to as the Credit Crunch. List your debts, including the balance and the interest rate for each one. Each month, pay the minimum balance on all credit cards except the one with the highest interest rate. Pay as much as you possibly can on this card each month until it is paid off. Then start paying as much as you possibly can on the card with the next highest rate, while continuing to pay the minimum balance on the others. Keep doing this until they're all paid off. This is the only time you should ever pay the minimum balance on any card.
Some experts predict a rise in grocery bill costs due to the damage of the hurricanes and high fuel prices. Learning to be a savvy grocery store shopper can help you ward off the increased prices just by following a few helpful tips.
* Plan your meals before shopping. Before your next grocery store visit, plan your meals ahead, and make a monthly budget of how much you can spend and stick to it.
* Look for coupons. Flip through your Sunday newspaper and see if there are any coupons or special savings or order or print coupons online. Plus, if your store offers comparison shopping pull out the ads for things you need to buy each week.
* Know that larger stores buy in bulk. Large supermarkets verses smaller gourmet stores typically offer lower prices because they buy their merchandise in larger quantities and can pass along the savings to you.
* Buy only what's on your list. Before you leave the house, take inventory of what you need and write a detailed list. Once you arrive at the store, only buy the items on your list unless something is on sale. Spontaneous buying is one of the ways you can overspend, not to mention shopping while you’re hungry.
* Use a calculator to track spending. Another helpful idea is to take a mini calculator with you to keep track of the cost as you shop. Your calculator also comes in handy as you compare prices of different brands by dividing the cost of the item by the number of ounces. This formula yields the cost per ounce for an equal comparison. You can also compare the cost of different forms of the same food such as canned, frozen or fresh and determine which is the best value for you.
* Read labels and compare. Be sure to read the labels of your selections so that you know what you’re buying. Even though one item may be cheaper than another, it might not have the nutrient value to make the savings worthwhile. Also, make it a practice to always check the weight of what you’re buying because packaging can be deceiving.
* Resist impulse buying. If you have small children, keep in mind that taking them with you to the store can be a distraction from your list. Plus, shopping with your kids can cause you to impulse buy and rush through your visit leaving no time for comparison shopping.
So, the next time you plan a trip to the grocery store try incorporating a few of these tips and see what a difference it can
make to your pocketbook.