How to Save - Part 9
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How to Save

Walmart Introduces Meal Kits

Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Walmart announced that it has introduced new meal kits for customers. The meal kits will eventually roll out to more than 2,000 Walmart stores in 2018.

The meal kits will be available via Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup, where customers can order online at lunch and pick up as soon as dinner time. The meal kits are also available now in more than 250 stores.

Walmart’s meal kits are made and assembled fresh in-store daily. They were tested and developed in Walmart’s Culinary and Innovation Center. The meal kits can be found on shelves in the deli section of the store. Options include pre-portioned cooking kits, kits to accompany Walmart’s best-selling rotisserie chicken, along with options that can be heated up and on the table in less than 15 minutes.

Meal kits serve two people, and range in price from $8 to $15. That’s rather inexpensive, and could be a quick, convenient, option for busy families. Those who really hate to do all the work involved with preparing a meal might also benefit from a Walmart meal kit.

The pre-portioned meal kits do not require shopping for ingredients, chopping, or measuring. Options include Steak Dijon, Basil Garlic Chicken, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry, and Pork Florentine.

There are two versions of Walmart’s Rotisserie Chicken Meals. It includes a cooked-to-perfection rotisserie chicken, plus some curated ingredients for a quick dinner. Choose from Thai Curry Chicken or Chicken Fried Rice.

One Step Meals are designed to be fast and easy. Options include Chicken Alfredo, Cheesy Ravioli Bake, Meatloaf, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Pulled Beef, Chicken Marsala, Curry Chicken, Pot Roast, or Chicken Enchiladas.

TechCrunch points out that the Walmart meal kits are designed to compete with meal delivery services like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated, Home Chef, and others. The Walmart meal kits require less preparation time than the meals from other companies.

Late last year, Walmart launched Meals Made Easy, an expanded assortment of meal delivery kits and other speciality food items like farm fresh crates and snack boxes. Meals Made Easy does not require a subscription.

The meal kits are not going to be convenient for all families. Some Walmart stores do not yet offer meal kits. Families who have a member with food allergies will likely have difficulty determining if a specific meal kit is allergy friendly.

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America Saves has Advice on Saving Money

Posted on Monday, March 26th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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America Saves motivates, encourages, and supports low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt and build wealth. They have plenty of advice on saving money. Here are a few of their simplest pieces of advice for saving money.

Save Your Loose Change
What do you do with the change you get after making a purchase with cash? It might not seem like enough money to worry about. According to America Saves, putting aside just 50 cents over a year will get you way to a $500 emergency fund.

Use the 24 Hour Rule
Right this minute, you might feel a strong need to buy a specific thing. Whatever it is, you feel like it is something you cannot live without. It isn’t something you actually need, though. Wait 24 hours before buying it. This prevents you from spending money on impulse buys.

You bought a t-shirt from one of those online websites that sells unique designs. Or, you signed up for emails from a store that you like to shop at. As a result, you end up getting email from them with coupons, sales announcements, and photos of things you would be interested in buying.

Unsubscribe from those emails. Remove the temptation to spend money on things you don’t really need. Out of sight, out of mind.

Check Your Credit Report
America Saves suggests that you check your credit report once a year. You can get a free credit report from the credit reporting bureaus once a year. Check for inaccuracies that should be removed and for opportunities to raise your credit score. America Saves says that a low credit score can increase the cost of a 60-month, $20,000 auto loan by more than $5,000.

Use Your Local Library
Before you buy more books, or movies, check to see if your local library has a copy you can borrow for free. Today, more and more libraries are offering e-books that you can check out through the library’s website. Some libraries have DVDs you can borrow. You can be entertained without spending money.

Get Preventative Health Care
If you have health insurance, it probably covers at least some forms of preventative care. For example, an annual checkup will probably be covered. Go get it. Preventative care can help doctors detect health issues before they turn into expensive problems. Dental check ups can help prevent fillings, root canals, and more.

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How a “Do Not Buy” List Can Save You Money

Posted on Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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You might be spending money that you really don’t have. This is especially true for people who have certain spending habits or the need to always have the latest and newest of everything.

Sarah Winfrey, who writes for WiseBread, has come up with a simple way to keep money in your pocket. She calls it the “Do Not Buy” list. For full details about the “Do Not Buy” list, you should read the blog post on WiseBread.

In short, the idea is to identify what drives you to spend money on things that you don’t really need. People buy things as a way to satisfy an emotional state of being. If you regularly engage in “shopping therapy”, the “Do Not Buy” list might be for you!

Author Ann Patchett wrote an article for The New York Times titled: My Year of No Shopping. She was inspired by a friend, who had just completed a no-shopping year. One of the things Ann Patchett learned was that she shopped online when she was feeling anxious.

How can a “Do Not Buy” list save you money? It forces you to identify your own impulses and to stop giving in to them. One way to start is by looking at your bank and credit card statements and figuring out what stores you spend the most money in. You might be surprised by how much you spend at your favorite stores.

Everyone’s “Do Not Buy” list is unique. Avid readers might need to put books on their “Do Not Buy” list. Fashionistas may need to stop buying clothing for a while. People that are into the latest and fastest technology might give themselves a “time out” before buying the newest version of something.

For others, the impulse to shop is driven by emotion, instead of by specific types of products. Ann Patchett shopped online when she was anxious. Other people might shop when they feel sad, or lonely, or bored. Their “Do Not Buy” list might include the restriction of not shopping while feeling a specific emotion.

The best thing about the “Do Not Buy” list is that you can choose how long you want it to last. A good starting point might be a month. Pick a month to start in, and stick to the list until the month ends.

The “Do Not Buy” list will help you save money because you won’t be spending it on things that you don’t need. At the same time, it helps you break your bad spending habits.

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March is National Frozen Foods Month

Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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March is National Frozen Foods Month. The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) is the sponsor of National Frozen Foods Month. Every year in March, you can find special deals, offers, and coupons on frozen foods.

Make sure to check in March. They typically have plenty of coupons from brands that make frozen foods. Make sure to check the expiration date and use the coupons before they expire. Before you shop, go through your freezer and find out how much room you have.

Need ideas on how to use the frozen food you buy? Easy Home Meals will be featuring recipes that feature frozen foods. These recipes can help you find new and interesting ways to use the frozen foods that are in your freezer.

Each recipe is centered around a frozen food, and includes everything else you would need to make a nice meal for your family. For example, Easy Home Meals has a recipe for Meatball Street Tacos that uses a package of frozen turkey meatballs.

In addition, Easy Home Meals is offering giveaways and sweepstakes as a way to celebrate March Frozen Food Month. You can enter their $10,000 Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of five First Prizes of $1,000 or the Grand Prize of $5,000.

The Easy Home Meals Gift Card Giveaway offers a chance to win one of four $50 gift cards or the Grand Prize of a $100 gift card to a supermarket of your choice. You can enter the giveaway now. Both the giveaway and the sweepstakes end in April.

According to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association, the following brands are participating in the 2018 National Frozen Foods Month:
* Best Yet
* Dole
* Eggo
* Farm Rich
* Giant Eagle
* Green Giant
* InnovAsian
* Jimmy Dean
* Jose Ole
* Parade
* Piggly Wiggly
* Rosina
* Safeway
* Sandwich Bros.
* SeaPak
* Sister Schubert’s
* Tai Pei
* Totino’s
* Tyson

Does that list include one or more of your family’s favorite brands? March is a great month to stock up on the frozen foods that your family already enjoys. Your grocery bill might be a bit lower this month thanks to the discounts on frozen foods.

Didn’t see your favorite frozen food brands on that list? Don’t worry! There will be many other brands celebrating National Frozen Food Month with their own discounts and coupons. Check the website of your favorite brands, and visit them on social media, to find out what savings they will offer this month.

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The Best Things to Buy in March

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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One easy way to save money is to buy things when they are at their lowest price of the year. Every month, there are certain products with reduced prices. Here are some suggestions about the best things to buy in March.

Chocolate Candy
Stores that have Valentine’s Day candy leftover from the holiday will now sell it at a greatly discounted price. Check your local grocery store to see what is left. The heart shaped boxes are still pretty after the holiday is over.

You might also find inexpensive Valentine’s Day chocolate on the website of companies that make chocolate. The trick is to make sure you don’t buy more than you and your family can reasonably consume in a short time.

St. Patrick’s Day Freebies and Deals
Restaurants, cafes, and fast food places typically offer a special St. Patrick’s Day freebie or special deal on March 17. Some of them are for one day, only. Others last through the weekend after the holiday. You can expect some of these offers to be “buy one get one free”.

The day after St. Patrick’s Day is the best time of the year to purchase St. Patrick’s Day decorations, t-shirts, hats, and arts and crafts projects. All of them are going to be on sale. Store them away and use them next March.

Frozen Foods
March is National Frozen Food Month. This means you will find plenty of coupons on frozen food items. Some of those coupons will be in newspaper inserts or on coupon websites.

Other coupons will be found at the grocery store in coupon dispensers or on the frozen food products themselves. Stock up now, and save money later.

Spring Cleaning Products
Companies that make household cleaners are competing against each other for shopper’s attention. Check for coupons at your favorite coupon resources before shopping.

This is when many companies release a new scent in an existing cleaning product line. Often, companies will offer a discount on a new scent to entice customers to try it.

Video Games
The hot, new, video game title that you had your eye on in December is likely to be on sale now. There will also be sales on game systems and accessories. For the best discount, take the time to do a little price checking. GameStop, Best Buy, and Amazon might have different prices for the same game. Pick the one that is least expensive.

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Amazon Begins Grocery Delivery from Whole Foods

Posted on Monday, February 26th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Prime Now logoAmazon and Whole Foods announced the introduction of free two-hour delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now, with plans to expand across the United States in 2018.

Beginning on February 8, 2018, Amazon Prime customers who live in neighborhoods in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Virginia Beach can shop through Prime Now for bestselling items including fresh produce, high quality meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items from Whole Foods Market.

Customers can start shopping from Whole Foods Market selection at or by using the Prime Now app on their smartphones. The app is available on Android and iOS devices.

It is possible for customers to shop thousands of items across fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat and seafood, floral and everyday staples from Whole Foods Market available for free two-hour delivery. Select alcohol is also available to customers. Prime members receive two-hour delivery for free and ultra-fast delivery within one hour for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more.

Delivery from Whole Foods Market through Prime is available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Those who are curious about whether this new service is available in their neighborhood can visit the Prime Now website and enter their zip code to see if they are in the delivery area. Or, you can enter your zip code on the Prime Now app to find out.

People who live in a “food desert” tend to have difficulty obtaining fresh produce. Amazon’s grocery delivery service from Whole Foods has the potential to make it easier for people to buy fresh fruits and vegetables without having to physically travel to a Whole Foods store.

There is potential that this new service will help people save money on groceries. People can compare prices from Whole Foods to the sales that are going on at their local grocery store. Whole Foods might be less expensive for some foods. Don’t forget to consider the cost of the gas you will burn while driving to and from the local grocery store.

The partnership between Whole Foods and Amazon is going to be useful for people who cannot easily leave their homes to go grocery shopping. This group includes people who are elderly, disabled, or a stay-at-home parent. Those who do not own a vehicle will also find this new delivery service to be helpful.

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How to Save Time in the Kitchen

Posted on Monday, February 19th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Young woman looking in refrigerator, stock pileSome people love to cook. Others see the entire process of finding ingredients, chopping vegetables, and cooking food as a chore. One way to make meal time less stressful is to save time on meals by organizing your fridge.

The best way to begin is to notice when your refrigerator is getting empty. Before you go grocery shopping, take the time to sort through whatever is still in the fridge. Throw away anything that has gone bad or looks questionable.

Set aside the things that are still safe to consume. You might want to group similar things together. For example, put all the produce together. Put bottles of milk, soda, wine, and other liquids next to each other.

When the refrigerator is empty, it is time to clean it. Wipe down the shelves. Wash out the drawers (and dry them before you put them back in the refrigerator). Get all the little crumbs and debris out of the refrigerator.

Next, it is time to make a grocery list. Take a look at the food that is still good. What’s missing? Add those items to your list. Don’t forget to check the pantry for canned and dried goods. When you are done, put the grouped food back into the fridge near each other. This will make it easy to find what you need.

Go grocery shopping. Put the foods into the fridge in groups. For example, you can put all the produce on one shelf (or drawer). Or, you can put the ingredients that you need for tomorrow’s dinner on a shelf right next to each other. You can quickly find what you need, and won’t have to waste time hunting for ingredients.

Parents might want to put healthy snacks on a lower shelf in the fridge. Children that are looking for something to snack on can easily find the foods that are good for them to eat. If you have time, you can put individual portions into small containers or small, resealable, baggies.

If you have time, you can do the same process to organize your freezer. Stack all the frozen breakfast foods in one space. Put the meat that you intend to thaw for dinner next to the breakfast stuff. The proximity might remind you to set it out to thaw before you leave the house.

Does someone in your family have food allergies? Segregate the foods that are safe for him or her to eat on one shelf in the refrigerator. This reduces the possibility of having that person accidentally consume an allergen.

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Walmart is Closing Many Sam’s Club Stores

Posted on Monday, February 12th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Sam's ClubYour local Sam’s Club might not be around for much longer. Walmart is in the process of closing many Sam’s Club stores across the nation. It would be a good idea to make use of your Sam’s Club membership while your local store is still open and operating. Stores at are in the process of closing often have great deals on merchandise the store needs to quickly sell.

Business Insider reported on January 11, 2018, that Walmart was abruptly closing 63 Sam’s Club locations across the United States. Some Sam’s Club stores had already closed before Business Insider learned of the situation. CNBC reported the same list.

Here is the list of Sam’s Club stores that are closing:

  • 8801 Old Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99515
  • 1074 N Muldoon Rd, Anchorage, AK 99504
  • 48 College Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99701
  • 3900 Grants Mill Rd, Irondale, AL 35210
  • 2425 E Florence Blvd, Casa Grande, AZ 85194
  • 5757 E State Route 69, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
  • 1375 S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85286
  • 15255 N Northsight Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • 3360 El Camino Ave, Sacramento, CA 95821
  • 17835 Gale Ave, City of Industry, CA 91748
  • 12540 Beach Blvd, Stanton, CA 90680
  • 12920 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342
  • 69 Pavilions Dr, Manchester, CT 06042
  • 2 Boston Post Rd, Orange, CT 06477
  • 355 FL-436, Fern Park, FL 32730
  • 7233 N Seacrest Blvd, Lantana, FL 33462
  • 5135 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33611
  • 2994 Turner Hill Rd, Lithonia, GA 30038
  • 501 N Randall Rd, Batavia, IL 60510
  • 21430 S Cicero Ave, Matteson, IL 60443
  • 6600 44th Ave, Moline, IL 61265
  • 808 S Illinois Rte 59, Naperville, IL 60540
  • 900 S Barrington Rd, Streamwood, IL 60107
  • 1055 McHenry Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090
  • 460 S Weber Rd, Romeoville, IL 60446
  • 3015 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46268
  • 10859 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46229
  • 4024 Elkhart Rd #1, Goshen, IN 46526
  • 9598 Cortana Pl, Baton Rouge, LA 70815
  • 9750 Reisterstown Rd, Owings Mills, MD 21117
  • 1 Tobias Boland Way, Worcester, MA 01607
  • 340 E. Edgewood Boulevard, Lansing, MI 48911
  • 32625 Northwestern Hwy, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
  • 3745 Louisiana Ave S, St Louis Park, MN 55426
  • 2800 27th Ave S, Moorhead, MN 56560
  • 11 Batchelder Rd, Seabrook, NH 03874
  • 81 International Dr S, Budd Lake, NJ 07828
  • 1900 E Linden Ave, Linden, NJ 07036
  • 301 Nassau Park Boulevard, Princeton, NJ 08540
  • 2649 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, NY 13224
  • 720 Fairmount Ave, Jamestown, NY 14701
  • 700 Elmridge Center Dr, Rochester, NY 14626
  • 1600 Marketplace Dr, Rochester, NY 14623
  • 5085 Dawn Dr, Lumberton, NC 28360
  • 1101 Shiloh Glenn Dr, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • 4825 Marburg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45209
  • 9570 Fields Ertel Rd, Loveland, OH 45140
  • 1145 Carr 2, Bo Florida Afuera, Barceloneta, 00617, Puerto Rico
  • Carr 830, Bayamón, Puerto Rico, 00957
  • Carr 3 Km 82 Bo Junquitos, Humacao, 00741, Puerto Rico
  • 615 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209
  • 1805 Getwell Rd, Memphis, TN 38111
  • 1615 S Loop W, Houston, TX 77054
  • 13331 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077
  • 22296 Market Place Dr, New Caney, TX 77357
  • 12919 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216
  • 741 E Little Creek Rd, Norfolk, VA 23518
  • 4571 S Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23231
  • 901 S Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057
  • 1101 Outlet Collection Way, Auburn, WA 98001
  • 13550 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133
  • 7050 Watts Rd, Madison, WI 53719
  • 1540 S 108th St, West Allis, WI 53214

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How to Save Money on Trading-In a Car

Posted on Monday, February 5th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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person driving car from StockSnap ioAre you thinking about trading your current car in for a new (or gently used) one? It is a good idea to take the time to figure out what kind of car you want to get. After you have decided upon the make and model, it is time to use some advice from State Farm that can help you save money on a trade in.

State Farm recommends that you make use of the free car appraisal tools that can be found on the internet. Using them correctly, and honestly, can give you a good idea of how much your car may be worth. There are very few cars that will be rated as “excellent”, so don’t worry if your car is rated as less than excellent.

It is important to be honest when discussing your trade-in with a car dealer. Let them know about the light on the dashboard that has been going off. Tell the dealer about any “fender benders” (or, more serious accidents) the car was involved in.

The dealer is going to find out about those things the moment he or she has your car serviced and evaluated. Lying to the car dealer, or attempting to hide the truth about the state of your vehicle, is not going to result in a better deal for you.

Use an online tool to find the value of your trade-in. The online car appraisal tool is going to provide you with a dollar amount that signifies what your car is worth. That doesn’t automatically mean that the car dealer is going to offer that amount to you for your trade-in. That specific dealership might already have too many of the type of car you want to trade in.

State Farm recommends you visit several dealers. Ask each what they will offer for your trade-in. Ask if they have any special deals going on involving trade-ins. State Farm also recommends that you visit at least one dealership that is different from your car’s brand.

Doing this might seem tedious, but it will help you to save money on a trade-in. You might be able to use what you learned to persuade a dealer to give you a deal that is at least as good as, if not better than, the what the dealer down the road offered you.

What if your car turns out to be not worth very much as a trade-in? One option is to consider donating your car to a charity. Some charities can give you a tax write-off for the amount that your donated car was valued at.

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Money Saving Tips for 2018

Posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Piggy BankThere are two New Year’s Resolutions that remain very popular year after year. One is to lose weight. The other is to save money. Neither one of these goals are possible to start and finish in a day, or a week, or a month. You can, however, use some money saving tips for 2018 to make progress on your savings goal.

Limit Credit Card Use
Credit cards might feel like “free money” to some people. You pay with a plastic card instead of using money from your bank account or paying cash. The reality is that each purchase made with a credit card comes with an interest fee. The result is you can actually end up spending more money on a specific purchase made with a credit card than if you bought it with cash.

The easiest way to avoid racking up large credit card fees is to greatly limit your credit card use. Use your credit cards for emergency situations. This prevents you from increasing your debt. Work on chipping away at your credit card debt by paying more than the minimum payment each month. The less debt you have – the more opportunity you have to save money.

Stop Dining Out
You can save quite a bit of money by eating at home instead of going to a restaurant or fast food place. Part of why this tip works is that because meals cost more when you dine out than if you made the exact same thing at home. Cook your own meals, and you won’t have to pay extra for labor, tips, or delivery.

Another good reason to stop dining out is that it forces you to use up your groceries. Make and eat your breakfast at home before you go to work. Bring a tumbler of coffee with you. Pack a lunch. You will end up with few, if any, groceries that go bad before you ate them.

Use Alternative Transportation
If possible, try and walk or ride your bike to work. Doing so costs absolutely nothing, and gives you the opportunity to get some exercise.

Or, you could take the bus or train to and from work. The cost of a train ticket might be less expensive the the amount of money you spend on gas for your vehicle and the price of parking it while you are at work. Bus passes tend to be very inexpensive. Some cities offer a discount bus pass to workers in an effort to entice them to take the bus and leave limited parking spaces for shoppers.

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