627+ Absolutely Free Things for You & Your Family!

I have to confess it, “free” is just about my favorite word. I just love free things and I don’t think there’s ever a time when I can have enough of them. You are probably saying to yourself, well if it’s free just how good can it really be? After all, who would give away free valuable stuff in this day and age?

There are many free things for you and your family to enjoy if you know where to look. Check out my list of everything from birthday deals to free events.

As hard to believe as it might be, there are literally hundreds of things you can get for absolutely nothing these days, and they are all a real value to you or to someone you know. The trick is in knowing where they are and what if anything you need to do to take advantage of these treats! Continue reading

Grocery Savings: Is Aldi Supermarket the Store for You?

Although I write fairly regularly about saving money on groceries, believe it or not I’ve never been to an Aldi supermarket before, that bastion of discount grocery shopping! When I saw a coupon in the newspaper for a local one opening up, I knew the time was right to check it out and report back here on what I thought.

I love to save money on groceries, so you may be surprised that I've never been to an Aldi supermarket before. Check out my first shopping trip there.

 

Saving on Groceries

Even though there are lots of other ways we can save money, our food budget is still one of the largest parts of our annual expenses. After all, we all need to eat! Food accounts for about 8% for the typical American family’s budget. Therefore it’s only natural we would seek out lower grocery prices without sacrificing on quality. Continue reading

Celebrating St. Frugaltine’s Day Without Spending a Fortune

He’s baaaaaaack! Saint Frugaltine—the patron saint of all that’s frugal and yet still a romantic at heart—is about to take center stage again. With just about 3 weeks to go, the planning is probably already in your mind for Valentine’s day ideas. Even if I was ever to forget about it, I have a built-in reminder right here where I live. Her name is Suzanne, my wonderful wife, and she is an avid Saint Frugaltine fan in every way.

If you're looking for Valentine's day ideas, think of St. Frugaltine and don't spend a ton of money. Here's how I'll be celebrating without spending a lot.Now I don’t want to appear like someone who doesn’t believe in the celebration. I do, really. I have to admit that I like being romantic and letting my dear wife know that I adore her, but I also realize that it’s not in our best interest financially to spend all kinds of money on all the many varieties of gifts, jewelry, clothes and the like that the brilliant merchandising minds of our time come up with every year to entice us. Even just a nice dinner out can be a budget buster on a special day like this one. It’s not too far behind the biggies like Mother’s Day and New Year’s Eve as far as pricing and reservations go. So what can one do? I want to mark the day as special, and I want it to be romantic and memorable, but I don’t like the idea that if I spend a fortune on Saint Valentine’s Day, I won’t be able to fulfill all of my financial obligations in February! Continue reading

A Sweet Year Ahead Could Cost You a Fortune!

Good news. The world keeps right on spinning. That may be it when it comes to the good news! I see some very cloudy skies ahead in some of the most important categories of our everyday lives. We might have to brace for what I’m going to call the “reign storm” that may start to darken some of the financial skies beginning right now, about 3 weeks ahead of Inauguration Day 2017.

While some food costs actually decreased in 2016, we're looking at rising prices in 2017 driven by increasing vanilla extract cost.

For one, we just saw the interest rate hike that has brought mortgage rates to a level higher than it has been in the past several years, and there is more of that coming in 2017. I’m used to the ever changing things that are just part of life and that I have to adjust to every year. I said used to, but I’m not always happy about them. I guess that’s because I can actually remember the days, for example, when oh, I wasn’t put on hold for 45 minutes when I called someplace on the phone and then was told that “my call is very important and that they are experiencing a high volume of calls today”, just coincidently anytime I call! Continue reading

Are Grocery Prices Actually Going Down?

For the first time since 1960 grocery prices have dropped for 9 consecutive months here in the U.S. So far this year, overall prices have declined by slightly over 2% against last year’s prices and in some key categories they dropped even more dramatically according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is certainly good news and an unexpected “gift” after years of steadily inflated food prices that were at a zenith as recently as a year ago. Things such as shorter supplies, avian flu, and viruses affected beef, pork, and chicken supplies around the country. Grain prices were hurt by severe weather and drought which also made prices jump.

After years of high food costs, could grocery prices actually be going down? Here's what's going on, what it affects, and how to take advantage. Continue reading

Lunchtime is Saving Money Time on School Lunches

Well it’s that happy time again. Back to school means that vacation time is over and the kids will be getting back to a routine of “early to bed, early to rise” once again.  But besides the shopping and stocking up on those classroom needs, it’s also the time to begin the very important (and sometimes very expensive) task of prepping for their daily school lunches and snacks that they’re going to need all year long.

Lunchtime is Saving Money Time on School Lunches

Now I know that the easy way out might be to just buy the school lunches everyday, but those choices may not be the ones your kids really want despite their “value”. Bought lunches probably won’t include most of their favorites and someplace in the back of my mind I remember when president Jimmy Carter decided that ketchup counted as a vegetable (or was it a fruit?) on the nutrition chart.  That kind of scares me.  If you want to be in more control of what your kids are eating, and make them just a bit more likely to eat a good lunch yet still save money, consider some of these good ideas for the coming school year! Continue reading

11 Ways to Save on Summer Barbecues

Despite the calendar, this morning as I write this post, we still haven’t seen the temperatures make us feel like summer is just around the corner. In fact, “Princess” (our beautiful hanging basket of purple petunias…yes, we name our plants) slept last night in the house to avoid us having to put a winter sweater on her to keep her warm!

11 Ways to Save on Summer Barbecues

But just as light follows darkness, summer is going to arrive soon and for us, Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! And what says summer more than a good old fashioned barbecue? Continue reading

The Best Supermarkets in America Today and Why

We’ve all probably used the phrase “money doesn’t grow on trees” a time or two haven’t we? But as funny as it may seem, it kind of does in the form of food we shop for! Even though you can find food growing all around you on farms and orchards, even in densely populated places like New Jersey where we live, rarely if ever do we run out to go pick our own fruits and veggies or cut corn cobs or gather eggs from the chicken coops (or if you do, kudos to you for living off the land the way our ancestors did for thousands of years).

The Best Supermarkets in America Today and Why

 

We live in an age that provides the convenience of the neighborhood supermarket, or supercenter as many are frequently called. It’s been this way for quite a while now, really booming with the development and growth of suburbia after World War II and has continued to grow and develop and morph into the supermarkets that we know and use every week today to feed our families. Continue reading

Finding Good Cheap Wines to Fit Your Budget

Being a frugal shopper can sometimes make you appear to be cheap.  It’s especially so in certain key areas of entertaining your family and friends. Like, if you get those tickets for the big sports event and you’re way up in the rafters where there’s just the rumor of a game. Or you make a hot dinner date reservation and it’s for the “early bird” at 4:30 pm. The same can seem to hold true when it comes to buying wine for a special occasion or just for relaxing around the house.  Buying a less expensive bottle (aka cheaper) can make you look or feel like you’re cutting corners or even serving something weird right? Nonsense I say. Despite not being a wine expert, I have tasted and shopped for my fair share over the years and have worked with retailers who sell wine from all over the world. Having done that I have formed some very firm opinions on good cheap wines.

Finding Good Cheap Wines to Fit Your Budget Continue reading

Is There An Abandoned Gold Mine Inside Your Home?

Back in the 1800’s, America had a gold rush out in California. You’ve read about it in all the history books and you know it was mass hysteria back in those days as people packed up their belongings and headed west. It was exciting but a real hardship to get out there, get settled, and have the determination and strength to stake your claim. But it was worth it when you hit the main line and cashed out!

Is There An Abandoned Gold Mine Inside Your Home?

Today in 2016 there’s no striking gold out in California, but have you considered the gold you might find right inside your own home? In America today, we’re wasting tons of money, so much so that you can compare stopping that with discovering gold inside the 4 walls where you reside. We all are guilty of wasting our money and so here’s a short list on how you can strike gold starting right now by decluttering your home. Continue reading