How To Save


How to Save

Ways to Save Money on Prescription Medications

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Piggy Bank with PillsAmericans spend more money on prescription medications than people in any other country. Sometimes, a person’s health insurance will cover the prescription medications that they require. Other times, the insurance company refuses to cover it, leaving people to struggle to pay for the expensive medications that they need. Here are a few ways to save money on prescription medications.

Ask your Doctor for Generics
It is a good idea to ask questions when your doctor prescribes a medication. The doctor usually won’t know whether or not your health insurance covers what they are prescribing. Ask your doctor if it would be ok if you took the generic version of the medication instead of the name brand.

One vivid example of why this is important was in the news a while ago. The EpiPen (made by Mylan) is expensive. This pen is used by people who have severe allergic reactions to things that can cause them to go into anaphylaxis. The double-pack of Mylan EpiPens can cost as much as $400.00

CVS has created their own version of Mylan’s EpiPen. The CVS version costs around $5.00. It is made from the same ingredients as the EpiPen. Ask your doctor if he or she can prescribe the generic version instead of the name brand.

Ask the Pharmacist for Generics
CVS is rolling out a new tool that alerts CVS pharmacists to cheaper drug options when they fill patient’s prescriptions. It is called the Savings Finder. This program flags a less expensive therapeutic equivalent, prompting the pharmacist to tell the patient and seek permission from the doctor to make the switch.

Savings Finder is also available to CVS consumers through an app.

No matter where you pick up your medications, it is a good idea to ask the pharmacist if a less expensive version is available. The generic versions are often much less expensive than the name brand.

Compare Prices
Call your preferred pharmacy and ask what your medication would cost. Next, call several other pharmacies, and ask the same question. Sometimes, the price of a medication can change depending on which company’s pharmacy you ask – and whether or not the pharmacist is aware of a generic version.

Ask the pharmacist if you can get a discount for having the store’s loyalty card. Ask for coupons. Find out if a prescription will cost less if you have the store’s credit card or membership card.

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How to Lose Weight Without Going Broke

Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 at 7:00 am
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There are two times every year when many people decide to try and lose some weight. The first is January, when people make weight loss their New Year’s Resolution. The second is Spring, when people decide to lose weight so they can look good in swimwear. Whatever your reasons for weight loss are, there are ways to lose weight without going broke.

Exercise for Free
Can’t afford a gym membership right now? Look for ways that you can exercise for free. Some people may be able to take advantage of the gym at the company they work for. Your employer might have an incentive going on that encourages employees to take walks, eat healthier, and lose weight.

Other people might be able to use the track at the local high school for free. If the weather is nice, you can go for a bike ride, walk down a bike path, or go for a run outside.

Try Online Workouts
There are tons of workout videos all over the internet. You can find plenty of them on YouTube. Many of these videos do not require any specialized workout equipment, so you can do them without having to make a financial investment. For best results, seek out videos that are made by professional instructors or trainers.

Check your Insurance Coverage
It is possible that your health insurance will cover some types of weight loss services or treatments. Most health plans cover free screening for obesity as part of guaranteed access to free preventable care. WebMD says that if your body mass index (BMI) is over 30, you qualify for free weight loss counseling. Some health insurance plans will cover weight loss medications, or a visit with a nutritionist.

Eat more Produce
The Eat This, Not That! blog suggests that people swap meat for plant protein. Plant based proteins such as legumes (lentils, chickpeas, peas and beans) have been shown to speed up weight loss. Typically, meat is more expensive than vegetables are. Swapping veggies for meat can help you not only lose weight but also save money on your grocery bill.

Pack a Lunch
You have already spent money on groceries. Use them up! Take the time to pack a healthy lunch that you can bring to work or school. Fill a reusable bottle with water. This gives you the opportunity to make healthy choices for lunch without having to spend any additional money. It also makes it easier to avoid the fast-food places on your lunch break.

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The Simple Dollar has 100 Tips for Saving Money

Posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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The Simple Dollar is an excellent website for people who are looking for ways to save money. They put together a blog post titled “How to Save Money: 100 Great Tips to Get You Started”. Here are just a few of those tips that sound extremely easy to do.

Turn off the TV
One way to save some money on your electric bill is to get into the habit of turning off your TV when you aren’t watching it. The best part of cutting down on the amount of TV you watch is that you won’t be watching ads. Many people allow ads to influence them to make purchases they don’t need. Less time spent watching TV means you can avoid the ads and save money.

Try the 30 Day Rule
All of us have made an “impulse buy” at one time or another. People who shop for emotional reasons (and not because they need something specific) are likely to buy things without thinking about whether or not they have the money for it. The Simple Dollar suggests that you use The 30 Day Rule. Don’t make that purchase today! Wait for 30 days. Your urge to buy that item will likely disappear.

Drink More Water
You can lower your grocery bill if you stop drinking a lot of soda, juice, and sugary tea. and start drinking more water. Bring a refillable water bottle with you when you are out and about. When you get thirsty, you won’t be as motivated to purchase a soda. This simple practice can save you money and help improve your health.

Turn Off the Lights
Your parents were right – leaving lights on in rooms that no one is in costs money. Get into the habit of turning off lights before you leave the house. Take it a step further and turn off lights in rooms that no one is in at the moment. During the day, you can open the curtains or blinds and let the sun shine light into your home.

Buy Used When You Can
Before you buy something brand new from an expensive store, take a look at the thrift stores in your area. You can buy used clothing – that looks as good as new – for a lot less money than if you bought a similar item from a retail store. Used book stores are excellent places to purchase books that are new-to-you. Some used book stores will give you store credit for books that you donate to them.

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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.

Unsubscribe
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 Coupons.com 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 www.PrimeNow.com 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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