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How to Save

Meatless Monday is Good for The Planet – and Your Budget

Posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 at 7:00 am
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Meatless Monday has delicious plant-based recipes and guides to help your family implement Meatless Monday at home. Swapping out meat for plant-based foods is a good way to celebrate Earth Day, and to save money on groceries.

According to Meatless Monday, vegetables and fruits have nutrients and special natural compounds called phytochemicals that serve as antioxidants to neutralize damage to cells, and can help fight pathogens. A healthy diet can help strengthen your immune system.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can sometimes be expensive – but they are less expensive than meat. You can lower your grocery bill by purchasing canned fruit or vegetables, or choosing frozen over fresh. Your favorite grocery store might have ready-to-eat entrees or premade veggie burgers (or other meat alternatives).

Meatless Monday has plenty of meatless recipes that you can make. One example is Cauliflower Buffalo Wings, which are a meatless alternative to chicken.

Another example is Very Green Spring Pasta, which uses both whole wheat pasta and zucchini noodles. It also includes plenty of veggies, lemon zest, and grated parmesan or dairy-free parmesan (among other ingredients).

Reducing the consumption of meat can help contain production of greenhouse gasses that impact climate change. It also helps to lessen the demand for precious environmental resources such as land, water, and energy, Meatless Monday points out. Livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector – all the cars, trucks, planes, and trains in the world.

Producing one quarter-pound beef burger uses 425 gallons of water – enough to fill 10 bathtubs. Skipping one serving of beef every Monday for a year saves the equivalent emissions to driving 348 miles in a car.

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A List of Store Closures – 2021

Posted on Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 at 7:00 am
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Some of your favorite stores may be closing in 2021. In some cases, a chain of stores might entirely go out of business (and switch to online only). Others will close in some states or locations, but not in others.

Best Buy: two stores in the Richmond, Virgina area, one store in Syracuse, New York, one store in Carbondale, Illinois, and one store in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Macy’s: will close stores in the following locations by 2023:

Paradise Valley, AZ
El Cajon Pakway, CA
Hilltop, CA
Brass Mill Center, CT
Crystal Mall, CT
Port Charlotte Town Center, FL
Volusia Mall, FL
Greenbriar, GA
Hyatt Regency (Maui) HI
Grand Teton Mall, ID
Water Tower Place, IL
College Mall, IN
Marlow Heights, MD
Independence Center, MO
Northpark Mall, MO
West Park Mall (MO)
Sangertown Square, NY
White Plains Galleria, NY
Great Lakes Mall, OH
Richmond Mall, OH
Tri-County Mall, OH
The Avenue Carriage Crossing, TN
Old Hickory Mall, TX
Post Oak Mall, TX
Rivercenter, TX
Rolling Oaks, TX
Commons at Federal Way, WA
Northtown, WA
Monterey, CA (Furniture)
Winter Haven, FL
Cambridgeside, MA
Lima, OH
Lloyd Center, OR
Santa Monica, CA (Bloomingdale’s)
South Towne Center, UT

Paper Source filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will close at least 11 of its 158 stores.

Goodwill closed eight retail stores in California in Albany, Berkeley, Dixon, Livermore, Oakland, Oakley and Vallejo.

The Children’s Place will close an additional 122 stores in 2021, with 25 planned in the first quarter, and 97 closures planned by the end of fiscal 2021.

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Do Your Spring Cleaning with Baking Soda

Posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 at 7:00 am
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Lower the cost of your Spring Cleaning by using baking soda! A box of baking soda is inexpensive, can be used to clean many things, and does not have a strong smell (like other cleaners do). Here are some things you can clean – or deodorize – with baking soda.

One way to remove mildew from your bathroom is to use a damp sponge and some baking soda. It will take some effort, but it is possible to scrub away mildew from your tub, tiles, sink, shower, and shower curtain with baking soda. You may want to have multiple sponges on hand, depending on how much mildew is in your bathroom.

Got a greasy or grimy microwave? Baking soda can make it cleaner! Sprinkle some baking soda on the inside, and outside, of your microwave. Wipe away all the dried food residue and whatever smells are lingering with a damp sponge or microfiber cloth. For best results, unplug the microwave before cleaning. Don’t forget to wipe off the handle and outside of the microwave!

Baking soda can be used to remove orders. This is why people put a slightly open box of baking soda in their refrigerators. Baking soda can also be used to remove musty smells from closets. Put an open box of baking soda on a closet shelf and leave it there. You can also fill an old sock with baking soda and put it in a drawer to remove odor.

When the weather starts to warm up and get nice again, you might want to bring your lawn furniture out of storage. Baking soda can help you clean it up before use. Mix a half-cup of baking soda with 1 quart of warm water. Get a sponge or a cloth, dip it into the mixture, and wipe down your lawn furniture. When the dirt is gone, rinse off the lawn furniture and let it dry.

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Ways to Save Money on Frozen Foods in March

Posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 at 7:00 am
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March is Frozen Food Month. It is a good time for families to stock up on their favorite frozen foods. Doing so could make dinner time quicker and less expensive than typical.

According to National Today, Frozen Food was first conceptualized in 1953 by C.A. Swanson & Sons. They made a frozen TV dinner that simplified dinner time. People started eating dinner on trays while watching television.

Grocery Dive reported that since the start of the pandemic, frozen foods are driving sales in grocery stores. “Compared to their pre-pandemic shopping habits, shoppers are citing a desire for experimentation, a need for greater variety and a focus on buying better value” according to a report conducted by 210 Analytics.

If you choose to do your grocery shopping in person, pay attention to the sales in the frozen food aisles this month. There is potential that you could find something new to you and your family. That frozen food could make dinner less boring for a family that has been cooped up indoors for a long time.

You should also check your store’s loyalty card to see if there are special deals for card holders. This can include BOGO sales (Buy One Get One Free) on frozen foods. Bring your loyalty card to the grocery store, or prepare to give the cashier some identifying information that connects the loyalty card to you.

What if you prefer to have your groceries delivered? Check the store’s website for special savings on frozen foods. The frozen foods your family loves the most might be on sale this month. If there is room in your freezer, you can save money by stocking up on frozen vegetables while the price is lower than typical.

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Ways to Save Money on Clothing During the Pandemic

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2021 at 7:00 am
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The way we dress during the Covid-19 pandemic is quite different than how we dressed before it. Now is a good time to re-assess your clothing options and make necessary changes. You might be able to save money on clothing.

Working Remotely

Those who work remotely may need to attend some online meetings. You might be able to use the workplace appropriate shirts and sweaters that you used to wear while in the office. It is a good idea to have at least a few pairs of slacks. Your online co-workers probably won’t see them – unless you have to get up to tend to a child or pet.

Some people lost or gained wait during lockdown. Your professional clothes might not fit anymore. You can save money by shopping clearance sales or end-of-season sales. Make sure to review the store’s return policy before you make a purchase.

Take Good Care of Your Clothes

Reader’s Digest says that washing your clothing after each wear may result in over-washing some items and causing them to wear out prematurely. Reader’s digest also reports that hot water won’t necessarily get clothes cleaner, but it can damage some fabrics or cause some stains to become permanent.

It’s time to reconsider how you do your laundry. Using less hot water might help lower your heating bill. You can also save money by using less detergent each wash. Doing so can make your clothes last longer.

Consider Thrift Stores

Do you live in an area where the shops are open? Thrift stores are good place to shop for clothing (and other things) for very little money. Before you go, call the store and find out if they let customers try on clothing. If they don’t, then you should ask about their return policy. Make sure to wash the clothing you buy at the thrift store before you wear it.

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How to Use Up Potatoes

Posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 at 7:00 am
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Many of us are staying home as much as possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of going to the grocery store in person, families are having their groceries delivered. This can result in “substitutions” made by your shopper. You might end up with a much larger bag of potatoes than you expected! Here are some ideas about how to use up those potatoes before they go bad and have to be thrown in the trash.

Mashed Potatoes

It is pretty easy to make mashed potatoes. All you need is fresh potatoes, butter, and salt. You can find many recipes online that include additional ingredients, such as cheese, garlic, or leeks. There are even vegan mashed potato recipes.

With a little bit of effort, you can use up an entire ten pound bag of potatoes by turning them into mashed potatoes. Put some of it into small freezer bags that are a good size for an individual serving. Each bag can be used as a side dish for dinner.

Potato Soup

Few things can be more satisfying than bowl of hot soup on a cold day! The main ingredient in potato soup is potatoes. It can be made quite simply, with just a few ingredients. If that sounds boring, then you can add more ingredients to suit your taste.

You can make a meal out of a large bowl of potato soup. Serve some for dinner or lunch, and freeze the leftovers into individual servings. Use them up on a night when you are too busy to cook.

Baked Potato

Baked potatoes are wonderful for many reasons. They are easy to bake, and every member of your family can add their own preferred ingredients on top of it. This is a meal that can make everyone happy!

Baked potatoes can also save you a little money on your heating bill. The kitchen will be nice and warm while the oven is on. This gives you the opportunity to turn off your heat for an hour.

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Christopher & Banks will Close All Stores

Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 at 7:00 am
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Christopher & Banks is a women’s apparel retailer. It has filed for bankruptcy and has already begun taking steps to close all of its 450 stores. The company is based in Plymouth, Minnesota.

Christopher & Banks decision was due to debt issues and pandemic disruptions. It relied heavily on foot traffic to bring people to its stores. The foot-traffic has decreased in recently due to competition from big-box retailers, rising online sales, and changing customer preferences.

In a news release, Christopher & Banks stated that they expect to close a significant portion, if not all of its brick-and-mortar stores. It is also seeking potential buyers for the sale of its eCommerce platform and related assets.

This may be sad news for fans of Christopher & Banks. There is a bright side, however. If the company sells its eCommerce platform, it could mean that the company that buys it might sell continue to sell some Christopher & Banks products.

When a store announces that it is filing for bankruptcy, it is an opportunity for consumers to save money on the sales that are offered. Right now, Christopher & Banks has a limited-time “take an extra 10% off entire site” sale on its website. There is also a 40% sale on new arrivals, and an online-only semi-annual clearance sale starting at $10.

Those who have a Christopher & Banks gift card should make an effort to use it soon. Stores that file for bankruptcy may decided to abruptly stop accepting their gift cards. This is especially true after they find another company that wants to purchase their assets.

Is there a Christopher & Banks store near you? Now might be a good time to stock up on clothing that you can wear while doing online meetings. Call the store first to make sure they are still open.

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Tips for Saving Money in the Winter

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 at 7:00 am
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Winter weather comes with extra expenses. Will the extra cost fit into your budget? Here are some tips for saving money during the winter months.

Seal Drafts

Cold winter winds can find their way into the smallest crack in a window or gap in a door. The cold air makes your furnace work harder – and that can raise your heating bill. One way to prevent this problem is to seal off the cracks in windows and underneath doors. Some people will purchase insulation kits from a hardware store. A less expensive way is to push rolled up towels into door gaps and window cracks.

Cook Meals at Home

Cold days require hot food! You can save a lot of money by cooking meals at home. Use your oven to make a pizza or a casserole. The heat from your oven will warm your kitchen. Don’t forget to turn down your furnace before you start cooking!

Cooking at home saves money in other ways. It forces you to use up your groceries before they go bad. Throwing out groceries is a waste of money! Cooking at home also prevents you from driving to pick up food at a restaurant and having to spend money to refill your vehicle’s gas tank.

Blankets and Sweaters

You can save money by turning down your thermostat and bundling up in sweaters, warm socks, and blankets. Add some extra blankets to your bed before you go to sleep. You probably have those items at home. Turning down the heat means you will spend less money on your energy bill.

Close the Flue on Your Fireplace

A fireplace can be used to heat your home. But, it only works while there is a fire burning. Close the flue after the fire goes out and before turning on your heater. Don’t let the warm air go out the flue!

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Ways to Save Money on Entertainment

Posted on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 at 7:00 am
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There are some exciting ways to save money on entertainment in 2021. This is great news for people who happen to live in places that are under “stay at home” orders due to the pandemic. Here are just a few ways to save.

Warner Bros. announced that it is releasing all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max the same day as theaters. If you already are paying for HBO Max, then you can enjoy these movies from the safety of your home without having to spend extra money.

The movies include: “Dune”, “The Suicide Squad”, “Matrix 4”, “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, “Godzilla vs. Kong”, “Mortal Kombat” and “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”.

“In the Heights,” an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning Broadway musical, and “The Many Saints of Newark,” a movie prequel to HBO mob drama “The Sopranos,” which are also among the 17 movies Warner Bros. plans to give a concurrent streaming release.

HBO Max has a deal that right now that will last until January 15, 2021. For a limited time, new and returning HBO Max subscribers will receive 6 months of HBO Max for a total discounted price of $69.99, plus applicable tax. After your six-month discounted subscription period expires, your subscription will automatically renew at the end of each month.

Disney+ currently has an offer where you can sign up for Disney+, only. It costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year. This offer would be good for families that want to watch Disney content, but aren’t interested in also paying for Hulu or ESPN+.

AppleTV+ is free when you buy an Apple device. In other words, if you recently upgraded to the newest version of the iPhone, or bought a new Apple computer, it is possible you that you already have access to AppleTV+ for free. The offer lasts for one year from when you purchased a new Apple device.

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Save Money by Cutting Down on Food Waste

Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 at 7:00 am
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Many things have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Some restaurants have closed. Others are no longer allowed to have indoor dining. You might be in an area where grocery delivery is unavailable or too expensive. One way to save money is to cut down on food waste.

A great way to cut down on food waste is to consider portion size. Does your favorite restaurant allow people to order take-away? The portion you receive is likely to be larger than an adult should eat in one meal. Take the food home and split it into two portions. Refrigerate one portion, and eat the other immediately. Ordering delivery? You can do the same thing.

Turning one over-sized portion of food into two smaller portions means you get two meals for the price of one. Make sure to eat the second portion before it goes bad. Not sure you will remember to eat your leftovers? Pair up with a member of your household and order a meal that you can share. Two people get fed for the price of one.

Saving money on grocery shopping is more difficult if you want to have your groceries delivered to you. The person who shops for your groceries won’t have access to your coupons or your grocery store loyalty card.

One way to save money on grocery delivery is to find out what different services charge. Pick the one that is the least expensive. Before you shop online, take the time to plan out your meals for the week. Make a list of all the ingredients you need, and make sure you compare prices.

Of course, in order to really save money you will need to put in the effort to eat the groceries before they go bad. Frozen foods and canned goods last longer than fresh foods do.

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