Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Don't Overspend: Seven Unexpected Things Americans Spend Too Much Money On In Retirement

One of the best ways to save money is to cut down on unnecessary expenditures. Instead of removing significant items from your family budget, simply cut down on spending in several areas to achieve the same result. Here are seven unexpected things that Americans spend too much money on.

Home Appliances

People have a habit of buying the most expensive thing they see at the store, or the newest model. This often means that they pay over the odds, when a significantly less expensive version of the product would perform the same function. Toasters, fridges, blenders, food processors, juicers and grills are examples of such items.


While it can be tempting to buy clothes that have just come out at the best stores, they will cost a fortune. It is better to wait until items are on sale, buy everything you need, and repeat the process six months later. This will allow you to buy great clothes for yourself and your family at a fraction of their original price. You can also consider shopping at outlets for discounted prices on quality clothing that won't wear as as quickly.

Food Outside of the Home

Americans spend a great deal of money on food away from home on a yearly basis. It was estimated that the average household spent $2,500 a year on food outside of the house in 2009. While there is nothing wrong with eating out, proper food budgeting can save a lot of money. Families should decide how many times they will go out to eat each month and stick to that number. Eating out at work on the weekends can quickly add up. 

DIY Car Repairs

Being handy is usually a matter of pride for most people. However, patchy repairs and incomplete DIY car jobs often cost more money than hiring a professional. Replacing or fixing a transmission, for example, should be left to the experts, say the professionals at Minit-Tune International Corp. It's important to know what you can handle yourself, and when to take it to a mechanic to save on extra parts on repairs.

Credit Card Interest

A recent study showed that an American household owes $15,000 in credit card debt on average. This means that most Americans are paying huge amounts to credit card companies in monthly interest. To avoid this expenditure, it is best to pay off each credit card transaction within 30 days. Don't overspend and make payments on time to avoid extra fees. 

Expedited Shipping

A surge of online retailers, such as Amazon, means that many Americans buy their supplies through the internet. Buying online can often lead to savings on most items, but it also results in unnecessary spending on expedited shipping. There is nothing wrong with ordering one or two day shipping if you need an item urgently, but most people only do it so that they do not have to wait an extra few days. People surprisingly waste a lot of money with this type of shipping, especially around the holidays and birthdays. 

Gift Cards

Remarkably, it is reported that around $40 billion in gift cards was unspent from 2005 to 2012. With Americans spending a lot of money on electronics, home appliances, clothes and gifts, it is staggering to think that so many potential savings are being thrown away.

If you analyze your family's yearly budget, you will probably find that you are overspending on a few of these categories. By making incremental cuts to spending, you can lower your spending and still enjoy a similar standard of living.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wine Investment is Risky But Can Produce High Returns

Most people who want to make an investment think twice before turning their attention to the wine market. Such investments should be about getting your money back at some point, so that’s why we’re wondering: is wine worth taking the risk? Wealthy wine enthusiasts know how to appreciate a bottle of wine, and since money is not a problem for them, they usually choose only the best wines on the market. For example, if you love wines and your budget is unlimited, no one can stop you from paying $120,000 for a single bottle. This may sound crazy, but there are many people who do this. 

A 1975 Cabernet Sauvignon is worth a high price but only a real connoisseur can know its exact value. This type of people knows what to expect, and most of them can tell from the start whether they will get their money back. Even if finding these types of bottles is very hard, you will definitely benefit from their amazing characteristics. However, everybody knows that the easiest way of generating profit is through buying low and selling high. That being said, it becomes obvious that very expensive bottles of wine will never be considered a profitable choice. 

Invest in quality wine

If you’re willing to make this type of investment in the future, it would be a good idea to look for a good wine and sit on it for at least 30 years. As long as you know its aging potential, nothing will stop you from achieving your goals (some wines should stay in a cellar for a long period of time so that they can become comestible, while others can be drunk immediately).

Bear in mind that winemaking was totally different two hundreds of years ago, and this difference can also be seen in price. For example, the New World has been invaded with fruity and high-alcoholic wines. These types of wines don’t age too well, and they have nothing in common with expensive wines. Even though there are several vintners and wineries did their best to keep their old strategies, many of them find themselves in a tricky situation: they’re forced to provide people with they want.

The maturation process of wine demands time

Wines don’t mature overnight and most of them require several years of storage before being sold for an impressive price. The problem is that not many people know how long they should wait in order to sell the wine they have invested in. The maturing process is usually influenced by aspects such as acidity, tannin, and phenol.

Besides, you should also take into account that there are plenty of wines who don’t mature as quickly as you have expected. Once the wine is placed in the bottle, specialists re-rate it. If the quality is lower than the expected one, the final price of the bottle will drop. This means that wine investments are risky, and that all the merchants run the risk of going bankrupt. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the wine market is crowded with fraudsters which specialize in methods of attracting all the cash invested by investors.

Unfortunately, wine investments will remain risky until specialists come up with an accurate aging forecast tool for wine. You can always hire professionals in order to test your wine, such as sommeliers. However, the best idea would be to purchase up to two cases of the wine you expect to age beautifully (when it comes to aging, the best ones are those with low acid, high tannin, and higher alcohol). If you’re not specialized in wines, a local sommelier can taste the wine and tell you whether it’s worth the investment or not.

As previously mentioned, wine investments are challenging but they can bring high return. That’s one of the main reasons why investors think twice before throwing their money on random cases of wine. The best idea would be that of starting a personal wine collection first, and invest more if you notice that things are going according to plan. Never expect to become a millionaire by investing in cheap wine. Instead of purchasing dozens of cheap wine cases, you should rather purchase two cases with bottles of high-end wine. If you’re a wine enthusiast, chances are you will never experience failure, because you’ll never regret not having sold your wine.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sunday is National Coffee Day Get Some Free Coffee

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...
English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto: Taso de kafo. Français : Photo d'une tasse de caffé Español: Taza de café (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sunday is National Coffee Day. I wonder who designates these kind of holidays. Anyway, I think this is an appropriate way to use a Sunday. I will be visiting my local coffee establishment and having a taste of their fine brew. The folks over at "Best Coffee For" have put up a list of the festivities going on at some of the national coffee shops.

Here are a few places you should visit tomorrow. You definitely will find free coffee and maybe a couple of deals on beans and supplies.

10 Ways to Enjoy National Coffee Day

Caribou Coffee

Get a free small coffee with printable or digital coupon at Caribou Coffee on Sept. 29. You can also buy an Amy’s Tumbler refillable cup for unlimited coffee-of-the-day refills through Oct. 31. The tumbler promotion is in honor of Amy Erickson, a former “roastmaster” for Caribou Coffee who lost her battle with breast cancer at just 33 years old.

Dunkin’ Donuts

In order to get a free 10 oz. hot coffee or 16 oz. iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts on Sept. 29, you’ll need to download their mobile app. Navigate to the “offers” tab to find the coupon. You can also score a 16-ounce package of coffee for $5.99 or a 14-pack of K-Cups for $7.99 on Sept. 28 and 29.

Krispy Kreme

Receive a 12 oz. cup of coffee from Krispy Kreme on Sept. 29, or pay $1 for a specialty drink including their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte. You can also enter to win a free coffee every day for a year when you sign up before Sept. 29.


Try a taste of Ethiopia, Starbucks’ latest blend, for free on Sunday, Sept. 29. You can also get a free, commemorative ceramic mug when you purchase a pound of Ethiopian coffee (while supplies last).

Einstein Bros.

Starting on Sept. 27, buy one coffee beverage and get the second one free. The offer applies to both hot and iced specialty lattes and drip coffee orders.

Tim Hortons

Get a free coffee when you purchase another coffee from Tim Hortons on Sept. 29. Just tell the cashier “Happy National Coffee Day” to get the deal.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Get a free 12-oz Maple Latte when you buy oatmeal or baked item between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sept. 29. The offer is only available at retail locations (not supermarket or airport locations) and can be presented on your mobile device.

Kangaroo Express

With over 1,500 locations in the southeastern U.S., the National Coffee Day offer from Kangaroo Express convenience stores will have you jumping for joy. Get a 12 oz. coffee for just one penny between 8 a.m. and noon on Sunday, Sept. 29.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Head to Anaheim Angels Stadium to get a free Americano machine during Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Trade Up Your Cup event on Sunday, Sept. 29. The first 2,500 customers who trade in their old, electrical coffee maker between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. will receive an Americano machine — valued at $149 — in exchange.


Get a free 16-oz. cup of coffee from Wawa on Sept. 29 when you fill out a form on their Facebook page. You’ll receive a coupon upon completion to present to the cashier for redemption.


Monday, May 23, 2011

How To Save $1000 Per Year On Groceries Without Clipping A Single Coupon

In their unconscious state, those with NSRED a...Image via WikipediaThe cost of food and gasoline has been rising at a disturbing rate for a long time now. The rising prices at the supermarket can sometimes make a big impact on the families budget. Finding ways to save money on food is especially important, today.

The cost of food and beverages has jumped 3.5% in the last year according to the Consumer Price Index that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles. This percentage seems to low according to my own shopping experience.

Researchers have found consumers waste about 15 percent of their food every year. That amounts to about $1500 of wasted food for each household. On average, an American households that earns $52,000, spends 20% of their income on food purchases. Also according to the USDA a family of four spends between $611 to $1,200 on food every month. So reducing 20% of that waste can amount to a savings of $1000.

Prepare only the amount of food you will actually eat or store it in the refrigerator to eat the next day. My biggest beef is that people throw away good food after they have made too much for a meal. If there is food leftover, store it in the refrigerator for a left-over meals later in the week.

For one week a month, eat only what is in your house, so you can clear out your pantry. If you revolt at eating asparagus soup, well, you know never to waste your money again. You can sometimes extend this technique for a longer time period depending on the amount of food you have. Out of habit we tend to keep our refrigerators full like the apocylype is going to come and the stores will be closed for months. Don't fall for this, some people have a discomfort upon seeing a half empty refrigerator. Our they thinking they are Mother Hubbard and the cupboards are bare.

Don’t shop when you are hungry. Studies show consumers buy more on an empty stomach — including items you end up throwing away. This a big one for me and it's so true. You start to get a taste for a particular item and it's usually an expensive one.

Buy only the fresh fruit and vegetables you know you will eat before they rot. If you buy three bananas, for example, plan on eating one a day. Bananas and tomatoes are the worse offenders. Before you know it they are to over ripe to eat. Don't purchase any fruit or vegetables without having them incorporated into you meal plan.

Don’t let coupons and buy-one get-one offers lure you into buying more than you can use. The thrill of a bargain isn’t worth dollars wasted in never eating the food. This is where people waste money. The thrill of the deal does not last very long when you have bought something you rarely use or need.

Have a plan to consume the food you buy. Don’t impulsively pickup groceries that may sit on your pantry shelves. Remember, even cake mixes have a shelf life. Food can be frozen for about three months before it risks losing taste or absorbing aromas from other items.

Take home a doggie bag when eating out. Even the free bread and chips and salsa can be taken home. Don't feal bad, the restaurant just throws it away. My wife has made this into an art form. She can make one restaurant meal last for days. We take home the bread, extra dressings and everything we can scrape up.

Pull the plug on that second refrigerator. There are some homes that keep an extra refrigerator in the garage. This only encourages buying more food to fill it. When we had 6 kids in the house we needed it because we went through 4 gallons of milk per week. I suggest to pull the plug on it and just use the kitchen refrigerator. Putting all your food in the one refrigerator, makes it look like you have plenty, filling it up will keep you from thinking you need to go shopping.

Saving money on food isn't hard, it takes planning and paying attention. When you see the rising prices on bread, milk, eggs and juices everyday it can be very motivating to have a  plan and save some cash.

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