How to Save - Part 8
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How to Save

How to Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 at 3:15 pm
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Thanksgiving dinner is an important part of how families celebrate Thanksgiving. The larger your family, the more expensive that dinner becomes. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on Thanksgiving Dinner.

Use Coupons and Loyalty Cards
Go through your printed manufacturer coupons and look for the ones that match the brands you like. This will help you save money on the foods you need for Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t forget to check for digital coupons in the app for your grocery store’s loyalty card. You might be able to combine those deals.

Take a minute to do a price check on the items you need and find out what they cost at the groceries stores near you. There’s a possibility that one store will have better prices than the rest.

Split the Cost
Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? Let your family members know that you will be cooking the turkey. Ask them to contribute by bringing a dish. This tends to work best if you set up a system that will let everyone know who is bringing what.

For example, Aunt Ida might volunteer to bring mashed potatoes. Cousin Fred might bring his famous cranberry recipe. Uncle Joe might be happy to bring cases of soda and beer. Your family can split the cost of Thanksgiving dinner together.

Make your own Stuffing
The main ingredient in stuffing is bread. Instead of buying a box of stuffing mix, you can easily make your own. Use up some slightly stale bread that you already have. Cut it into cubes. Find a stuffing recipe online that you like. You might have all (or most of) the ingredients at home.

Don’t Dine Out
Dining out always costs more than eating at home. If no one wants to cook, consider ordering Thanksgiving dinner from places like Boston Market. Or, purchase pre-made items from the grocery store.

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Best Things to Buy in November

Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Every month, there are things that have an annual sale. There are plenty of sales in November. If you know what to look for, you can save some money.

Veterans Day Sales
The Veterans Day sales are usually on Veterans Day itself and the weekend closest to that day. You can expect to find special deals for people who are veterans or current members of the military. Restaurants typically offer veterans a nice discount on a meal that weekend.

In addition, stores will have sales on a wide variety of products. Those sales are open to everyone and tend to last through the weekend. Some might last all week long.

Your favorite grocery store might be doing a “freebie” deal on turkey. Call ahead and ask the store for details before you shop. In general, grocery stores who participate in these “freebies” require shoppers to spend a certain amount of money in order to get a free turkey. The deal might require you to spend a dollar amount on specific types of items (such as food from their meat counter).

Seasonal Produce
The best way to save money on produce is to buy it when it is in season. In November, that means apples, pears, cranberries, plums, and clementines. Pumpkins will be on sale. Seasonal vegetables include: broccoli, leeks, cabbage, squash, cauliflower, parsnips, celery chestnuts, shallots, turnips, yams and potatoes.

For even more savings, use your favorite grocery store’s loyalty card and app and pair coupons and other discounts with the seasonal produce. Some of these foods, like cranberries, pumpkin, and potatoes will help you save money on Thanksgiving dinner.

Food Storage Containers
Thanksgiving dinner produces plenty of leftovers! You are going to need to find a way to store them (or to send them home with loved ones). Fortunately, November is a month when food storage containers go on sale. Shop around and do some price checking before you make a purchase.

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Reasons Why You Should Save Money

Posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018 at 7:00 am
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There are plenty of ways that people can start saving money. You’ve probably heard quite a bit of advice about how to do it. What you may not have heard are the reasons why you should save money. Here are a few reasons to consider.

To Make an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is an important thing to have. It is money that you intentionally set aside to use in case of emergency. Use the emergency fund money to pay for an unexpected car repair, a medical bill your health insurance won’t cover, or to pay bills after losing your job.

How big should your emergency fund be? The minimum should be either two weeks pay or $1,000 (whichever is greater). There is an online Emergency Fund Calculator that can help you figure out how much you need to save.

To Buy a Car
Are you going to buy a new car? You will need to have a down payment in order to get a reasonable interest rate. Save up as much as large of a down payment as you can afford. It might be better for you to buy an affordable used car (that doesn’t need a lot of repairs) than to buy a brand new car.

To Pay for Travel
Thanks to the internet, we are able to stay in touch with friends and family who live far away from us. Travel can be very expensive. Plan ahead and start saving money to pay for airline tickets, hotel rooms, and unexpected expenses.

Many people meet up with friends who live far away at conferences. Doing so will require money for travel expenses, food, drinks, and to buy some of the interesting stuff that is sold at the conference. In other words, you are saving money to ensure you have a great time with your friends.

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Don’t Be Fooled by Fake Coupons!

Posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Everyone likes to save money, and that is why so many people use coupons. Unfortunately, there are coupon scammers out there that create fraudulent coupons. Don’t be fooled by fake coupons!

The Coupon Information Corporation has some good advice about how you can avoid getting counterfeit coupons.

* Never pay money for a coupon.
* Do not download coupons from internet forums
* If a friend e-mails you coupons, especially high value or free product coupons, the coupons are most likely counterfeit.
* Always get your coupons from your newspaper, from the manufacturer’s website, or from an authorized coupon distributor (such as
* Not sure if a coupon is legitimate? Check the Coupon Information Corporation list of counterfeit coupons.

Here are some examples of fake coupons:

There was a fake Publix coupon on Facebook that was being shared around. The coupon said: “Publix is giving everyone FREE $75 OFF Gift Coupon to celebrate 100 years of success!” The link led to a website that was not Publix. Publix has clearly stated that this Facebook coupon is fake.

A fake Nike coupon was circulated online. The coupon had a photo of Colin Kaepernick (who Nike recently featured in their new ad campaign.)

The wording in the fake coupon said: “Nike Offers 75% Off All Shoes For People of Color Until 2019”. The coupon did not come from Nike. It came from 4Chan, a website known for creating and spreading misinformation.

What to do if you find a fake coupon:

Call the store or contact the company. Tell them about the coupon you found and ask if it is a real coupon. They may not be aware that a fake coupon, that looks like it is for their store, is circulating.

Use critical thinking. Stores and product manufacturers don’t offer coupons for 75% off. They don’t create coupons that will give a consumer $75 or $100 off their purchase. If it looks too good to be true – that means it is a fake coupon.

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Money Saving Habits to Start Right Now

Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Don’t wait until the new year to start saving money. You can start at any time! It is possible to save money, little by little. Eventually, it adds up to a useful amount. Give a few of these ideas a try.

Save Money at Restaurants
One simple way to save money at a restaurant is to skip the alcohol. Most restaurants will offer water for free. If not, when the server asks what you want to drink – ask for water. It is much less expensive to have a glass of wine at dinner at your home than at a restaurant.

Skip the desert menu. Many of them are overpriced. Or, you can bring the cost down by splitting a dessert with someone else. Both of you can share the sweet for half of the calories the whole dessert contained.

Dining out by yourself? There are two ways to save money. Sit at the bar instead of waiting for a table. You will be given a small plate menu, with items that tend to be inexpensive. For best results, visit the restaurant during Happy Hour, where you can get drinks and food for cheaper than usual.

Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a very important thing to have. It is money set aside for when something goes wrong – like an unexpected car repair, a health issue your insurance doesn’t cover, and more.

An emergency fund can help prevent the need of having to get a loan or to max out your credit cards. Save up the money, set it aside, and avoid expensive interest rates.

The money you saved by making less expensive choices at restaurants should go into your emergency fund. Other ways to make money for your emergency fund include: having a garage sale, selling unwanted items online, or getting a seasonal or temporary job.

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Inexpensive Ways to Get Your Flu Shot

Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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It’s flu season! The best way to protect yourself, and others, from catching the flu is to make sure you get your flu shot. Doing so helps increase herd immunity. There are people who cannot get the flu shot because they are too young, elderly, or have a compromised immune system. Here are some inexpensie ways to get your flu shot.

Covered by your health insurance
The influenza vaccine should be covered by your health insurance plan. This is true no matter if you get your health insurance from work or from a Marketplace. You are already paying the premiums, so you should definitely take advantage of the “freebies”.

Your workplace might set up a conference room where workers can stop by and get a free flu shot. They might let workers know about this through email or a memo. In general, flu shots offered for free at a workplace are given to those who have the insurance – and those who do not.

At your local pharmacy
You can make an appointment online to get a flu shot from Walgreens. They are being offered for $0 copay (with most insurance).

CVS is offering a no-cost flu shot. Eligible patients will not pay any co-payments unless required by their plan (including Medicaid Part B). Get your flu shot at CVS, and you can receive a merchandise coupon valid for 1-time use at CVS Pharmacy locations. The coupon gives you $5 off $25 of product.

Rite Aid offers a free flu-shot from a pharmacist. (It is free with most insurance.) There is no appointment necessary.

Your County Health Department
Call your county’s health department and ask if they are offering free flu shots. They might be able to tell you when it will take place. Or, they could refer you to another place that is offering free flu shots.

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Best Things to Buy in October

Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Every month, there are annual sales. The very best time to buy something is when it goes on sale. You can pick up some great stuff without having to spend much money. If you wait to buy it later – it will cost more money than it does now.

October is National Pizza Month. This means you are likely to find coupons and discounts from all of the big chain pizza franchises. There may even be a deal on delivery. The best thing about it is that your family can have pizza night in October for less than it would cost any other month.

Stores tend to purchase too much denim for their Back To School sales. By October, the stores realize that they have too much stock. So, they have denim sales. It’s great for parents who want to pick up a few more pairs of jeans for their kids. It is also a good opportunity for people who need to buy new jeans to replace some worn out ones.

Halloween Candy
Those who live in areas where there are plenty of children are going to need to buy some Halloween candy. It tends to get less expensive the closer we get to Halloween. You might be able to knock down the price a little more by using your loyalty card.

The best time to buy Halloween candy is the day after Halloween. Pick up the type of candy that your family enjoys, or bring some in to work to share with co-workers.

Patio Furniture
Do you need to replace your patio furniture? The best time to do that is in October. Patio furniture takes up a lot of space in stores, and they generally don’t want to store summer items all year long. Patio furniture is on sale now.

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Things You Should Not Store in Your Garage

Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Many people find that they have accumulated too much stuff, and that they have no place to put it. This is when people start cramming their garage full of the overflow of items.

Be aware that there are things you should not store in your garage. Doing so could lead to an expensive mess to clean up. Here are a few common items that people store in their garages – but shouldn’t.

Food: There are people who use plenty of coupons specifically so they can afford to create their own stash. The purpose is to save as much money as possible. Unfortunately, many decide to store their stash in their garage. It is never a good idea to store food – people food, or pet food – in a garage.

Animals may be attracted to the food you store in your garage. Mice, rats, raccoons, and stray pets can rip open the packages and spread food all over the place.

Perishable food can go bad if it is not stored properly. The temperature in your garage could become too hot, or too cold, for the food you have stored there. If your stash goes bad before you can use it, you will have to throw it away and waste money!

Cardboard: It can be tempting to store the cardboard boxes that you used when you moved in. People figure there is a chance they might need them again. This often leads to people using the cardboard boxes to store all manner of things in. The problem with doing this is that cardboard boxes tend to attract insects.

Insects and spiders often think that cardboard boxes are a great place to live. They can damage the box and the items that are stored inside it. If you must store non-perishable, non-fragile items in your garage, make an investment in plastic tubs with sealable lids. This will protect the stuff you want to store inside a box.

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How to Save Money on Health Insurance Coverage

Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 at 7:00 am
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The 2019 Open Enrollment Period for health insurance begins on Thursday, November 1, 2018, to Saturday, December 15, 2018. The easiest way to get a new health insurance plan is during the open enrollment period.

Do you qualify for a premium tax credit?
You might qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill. The amount you can receive depends on your income. It is also called a “subsidy”.

The money is used to lower the cost of your health insurance premium. Those who qualify for a premium tax credit must purchase their health insurance coverage through a Marketplace. The “subsidy” cannot be used anywhere else.

Do you qualify for Medicaid?
The Medicaid program is offered in many states to families and individuals who have incomes that are below a certain amount of money. The amount may differ from one state to the next. Each state will have their own rules about who can qualify for Medicaid. It is worth taking a look at to see if you qualify.

Can you get health insurance through your employer?
Find out what the health insurance your employer offers will cost. Does it cover the things that you, and your family, need? How much of your paycheck will be taken away in order for you to pay your health insurance premium? The answer to those questions may reveal if you can get a better deal through your workplace, or if you should buy insurance from a broker.

Are you under the age of 26?
People who are under the age of 26 can say covered under their parents’ health insurance plan. The parent pays the premium, and the bills (generally) are sent to the parents.

It’s an excellent idea for college students who are going to school and cannot take on a full-time job. It’s also great for recent graduates who are struggling with student loan debt and who have not found the type of job that offers health insurance coverage.

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7-Eleven Accepts Digital Payments

Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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7-Eleven announced that is will accept payment from customers via Apple Pay and Google Pay. It already accepts Samsung Pay.

This means 7-Eleven customers in the United States can pay by using their smartphone. Apple Pay users will continue to receive all the rewards and benefits offered by credit and debit cards in 7-Eleven stores.

There are other ways to save time and money at 7-Eleven:

7Rewards: is 7-Eleven’s loyalty program app. It is free to download. Scan the 7-Eleven app in store with each purchase. Doing so earns you some points. Redeem your points for items at 7-Eleven.

You can earn bonus points faster when you buy select snacks, drinks, and other items in store. The app also gives customers who buy six qualifying cups (beverages) the seventh cup for free.

7-Eleven NOW: is 7-Eleven’s smartphone app that is currently being rolled out in the United States. It enables on-demand ordering of products from local 7-Eleven stores, and offers Apple pay as a payment option.

Amazon: The in-store package pickup service, Amazon Locker, is in approximately 1,100 7-Eleven stores. This means you can use Amazon Locker and have your purchase sent to the nearest 7-Eleven (that is participating in this offer). Amazon Cash may be used at more than 8,000 7-Eleven locations.

BillPay: An app powered by PayNearMe enables users to pay a variety of bills at participating 7-Eleven stores.

TransAct by 7-Eleven: is a reloadable, prepaid card that enables people to have their paycheck or government benefits loaded up to 2 days faster with direct deposit. It also lets people add another person to their Card Account and share funds with a secondary cardholder. With Mobile Check Load, you can load funds to your account using the camera on your iPhone or Android smartphone.

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