Revealing My Food Budget & Why You Need a Plan!

Budgeting is nobody’s idea of a really good time. But, it is the best way to get your family’s finances under control and—dare I say it—it is actually an absolute necessity to do so! Making a budget is making the decisions as to what you can spend in each category of your household expenses. Besides trying to figure out how you’re going to make your income spread out and cover all your bases, you might wonder where you stack up compared to other folks in the U.S. Today, I am going to provide you with the numbers of what Americans spend on their food budget, and then reveal what my wife Suzanne and I have been spending on average every month on food…for the past nine years!

Your food budget comes in right under your housing and transportation as one of the biggest costs. Make sure you are saving what you can on food.

The number one thing that we all have to spend money on is…food. Since I’m a retiree, I am on the proverbial “fixed income” so it’s become even more important to my wife and I than ever. So let’s take a look at that and run some of the numbers.

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How Your Supermarket Tricks You Every Time You Shop

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The astute super saving shopper is very savvy—or at least that’s what they will tell you if you ask. I have to admit that at one time I thought that I knew it all when it came to bargain hunting my way through the grocery store. After all, I had spent decades working in retail so I did have a leg up on the shopping experience and thought I knew every trick there was to get people to buy, buy, and buy more! But then a new reality set in and I started to have my eyes opened when I began working for supermarket chains as a consultant about 15 years ago. That’s when I learned exactly how supermarkets try to trick you into buying more every week when you make the time to shop!

When you do your grocery shopping, can you believe your supermarket tricks you into spending more? Be aware of these tricks so you can be a savvier shopper.

I wrote last year about the many “tricks” that in general retailers use in your favorite shops, especially around the holidays to get you to dig deep and spend more. (If you’re interested, here’s part 1 and part 2.) But you actually are more influenced each week at the grocery store than anyplace else you shop! Don’t think that’s true? Take a look at this!

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Free Coffee: How I’m Getting It Free for Nine Months

They say that a good day starts with a good cup of coffee. Well, at least I’m saying so today because for me it’s part of my morning ritual, every day. I am not alone here. When I used to commute to work for years and years, I’d always have a cup at home before I left for the office and then of course just had to have another one when I arrived and settled into my routine each morning at the office, too.

Most of us like our coffee to start us off on a productive day. But it doesn't have to be expensive. I'm getting free coffee for 9 months and here's how.

There are a lot of “golden rules” when it comes to saving money that tipsters often cite in personal finance blogs. I am guilty here too of stressing that skipping your morning coffee and bagel as you drive into work every day will save you some big bucks. It does. Simply said, if you don’t make your coffee at home, you are probably wasting a lot of hard earned money that you can easily save and put toward a far better use. Like maybe buying that small island in the Caribbean you sometimes dream about? OK, it’s good to dream anyway. But free coffee…it tastes so much better, I promise you.

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Supermarket Savings with Shop at Home Services

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A few years back, I wrote about a growing phenomenon sweeping the nation when shopping from home for food and groceries was starting to boom. It has done nothing but continue to grow and there are no signs of it going away anytime soon. In fact, you would be hard pressed now to find a major grocer who isn’t building their shop at home business. Until store pick-up and home delivery is replaced by the ability to “teleport” groceries from stores right to your kitchen table, it’s going to continue to be a popular option for all of us!

Have you tried to shop at home (SAH) for your groceries? Most retailers offer this option for home delivery or store pick-up and it can even save you money.

The Process of Shop at Home (SAH)

The ability to “shop at home” (SAH), to order your groceries online or through mobile apps, has been an incredible time saver and in many cases a cost saver, too! It’s generally the same prices you pay in the store, including all of the weekly sales and special pricing (although some stores do have different pricing). It may even be more advantageous on the SAH listings depending on which items you buy. You still use your savings/loyalty card to obtain the best deals, and you can use all applicable manufacturer’s or store coupons to maximize your savings.Continue reading“Supermarket Savings with Shop at Home Services”

NEW *Updated* List of 100+ Amazing Senior Discounts

Today is August 31, 2018 and I have just updated my Super Saving Tips senior discounts list effective right now so it’s bigger and better than ever. Bonus: You don’t have to be 65+ to take advantage of a lot of these discounts as many retailers and services recognize 50 as the line for discounting to “seniors”. I love AARP: If you are the spouse of an AARP card holder (who is age 50+), you can get the discounts they offer no matter what your age. My own wife at 48 gets them!

I've updated my comprehensive list of senior discounts, with everything from dining to groceries and shopping to travel. For many, you don't have to be 65!

 

Many of your favorite places to shop and dine are offering these special discounts. Regardless of whether you feel like eating fast food or a steak dinner, shopping at high end specialty stores or major discount operations, keep this list handy but do keep in mind that these deals may vary based on location. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for the discounts! You may not ever be proactively offered discounts just because you are standing in line at the checkout, so ask!
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Top Ways I Score Free (or Almost Free) Groceries

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OK, it’s back to the basics time today. Who doesn’t love free stuff? I mean free anything, right? OK there’s the possible exception of heartaches and that annoying jingle for 1-800 Kars for Kids that is broadcast incessantly on free radio every day, but other than that!

There's a number of ways you can get free groceries (or almost free). Check out my list including the best apps, coupons, and other techniques.

Seriously, one of the best things to get for free is to get free groceries primarily because one of the biggest chunks of your budget is for food. Well, we all have to eat so why not save as much money as you can while doing it? But to do it, you need to learn some basic skills and tricks. The most basic and obvious is to use coupons.Continue reading“Top Ways I Score Free (or Almost Free) Groceries”

The Battle of Your Bulges: Weight Loss Programs

Whether you’re truly overweight like me, or you just think you need to lose a couple of pounds, you’ve probably been sucked into the diet phenomenon at some point in your life. After all, you’ve seen the TV commercials, maybe read some reviews, or even known people who’ve lost a bunch of weight with one of the many weight loss programs. Or maybe, like me, you’ve tried one, two…or ten of them in an attempt to improve your health and your look. So what’s wrong, if anything, that a not-so-small percentage of customers complain about failing with them? Can you actually succeed long term with any of them?

Losing weight can be difficult, but weight loss programs aim to make it easier, at a cost. I review 3 popular programs, and what it takes to lose long term.

Hey Mr. and Mrs. America, You’re Fat!

As a country, America seems to have a real weight problem, greater now than ever before. You may be or may not be actually fat, but you are still often feeling the pressure of losing a few pounds because of health or the ever-present social pressure we all live with to be thin and look “good”. As if you can’t really look good with a little meat on your bones!Continue reading“The Battle of Your Bulges: Weight Loss Programs”

National Ice Cream Month: Here’s the Scoop!

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month back in 1984. Since then, it’s been our patriotic duty to indulge in cones, cups, and sundaes, whether for dessert or as an anytime treat to cool down in the summer heat. There is still time to indulge and you know what that means? Free ice cream…yum!

It's National Ice Cream Month, and I've got the scoop on where to go for your free ice cream treats and other deals all month long.

National Ice Cream Month is observed every year in July (National Ice Cream Day was on July 15, 2018). This fun celebration is enjoyed with a bowl, cup, or cone filled with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Seriously, does anyone out there not love ice cream?Continue reading“National Ice Cream Month: Here’s the Scoop!”