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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Penny is now a Yahoo! Contributor!


Our Founder and CEO, Penny Perez is now a Yahoo! Contributor. Congratulations Penny!

Check out her first article on “How to Save More at the Grocery Store” here.

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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Alternative Uses for Coffee Filters


Coffee filters can be used for more than simply brewing coffee. If you’ve recently switched to a reusable filter or cut out your daily java, those spare paper filters can be used for many of the same purposes as paper towels. Click here to read the alternative uses. 

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Create a Holiday Shopping Budget


Create a Holiday Shopping Budget

Creating a holiday shopping budget will definitely help shoppers avoid the inevitable stress that accompanies Black Friday. Experts have agreed that writing a list of each individual that needs to be shopped for, a gift idea for each person, and a maximum dollar amount for each person as opposed to an overall budget helps to cut down on costs and stress.

Once it is more clear what needs to be bought, start with the bargains. Plan out the Black Friday sales in advance. From that point forward, see what items can be purchased cheaper online. If there are many online purchases, check to see if it is possible to bundle shipping to further reduce the costs. Most importantly, avoid impulse shopping at all costs. Christmas is a time to be thoughtful and generous, but that does not have to mean being irresponsible.

Don’t forget that Christmas involves spending other than gifts. Think about how much money will need to be set aside for cards, decorations, shipping, wrapping paper and bows, food and drink, and even gas to get to the festivities. When these elements are ignored, they add up extremely quickly. 

Examine the paper trail. Review all the receipts and bills from the holiday season of the previous year. This can provide an idea of how much was spent, how long it took to pay it off, and what needs to be adjusted to make this year more budget friendly. Keep all the receipts from current purchases, and total them up daily or weekly depending on your individual shopping habits. This can provide a much needed reality check.

This paper trail includes credit cards as well. When going out, take only the credit cards that are absolutely necessary, and limit the transactions on them. Also, check the credit card statements thoroughly each time a bill comes in the mail. Unfortunately, the holiday season is a busy time for identity theft considering so many people are not paying attention to the details of their extensive bill.

By simply adjusting the way you shop, you can cut down on many costs associated with the holiday season and limit much of the stress. That is the best present you can give yourself.

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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Have a Great Christmas Without Going Broke or into Debt

Christmas is coming and with the coming Christmas holiday shopping season, a lot of parents will make the decision to once again go into debt to get their children lots of expensive Christmas gifts. Instead of going broke or deeper in debt, why not have a frugal Christmas?

A frugal Christmas doesn’t mean buying cheap toys that won’t last a week. It simply means having a holiday on your budget, within your means, with your spending dependent on your income and budget.

The problem that many parents face is that their children have seen so much advertising for toys and games, that they want anything and everything. And frankly, as parents, many of us at one time or another think our kids need and deserve loads of expensive gifts – so much so that we will go into debt to get them what they want, even when we can’t afford it and they don’t need it anyway.

Make this the year that you break the cycle of going into debt and going broke, just to buy Christmas gifts that will probably just be shoved to the back of the closet in less than a month anyway.

The idea here is to have a nice Christmas and save money while doing it. Remember what Christmas is all about – it’s the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The wise men brought gifts to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. It’s not about going in the hole financially just to buy Christmas gifts and then not be able to pay our bills.

Here are some frugal Christmas tips. Depending on your family’s finances, you can trim these ideas back or expand on them.

1. Draw names. Stop buying a gift or gifts for everyone in the family, all your friends, neighbors, and the pets to boot. Get everyone together that normally buys in this manner and put their names in a bag or bowl and have everyone (not the pets) draw one name out. That’s who they buy for, period. This works for families with lots of children also.

2. Tell the kids something to this effect: This year, instead of buying lots of Christmas gifts, we’re going to do something for someone that needs our help. This could mean making meals and taking them to someone, visiting with people who have no one for Christmas, donating their toys to kids who are less fortunate, etc.

3. Shop the sales and bargains. If you can’t find it on sale or clearance, leave it. This can be online or in the actual store.

4. Make it yourself. Homemade gifts are so much more thoughtful and caring than most store bought gifts, simply because love, care, and thought went into creating the item. Get the family together and tell them that this year you’re making gifts for each other. Use what you have (or can afford) and make something with the gift recipient in mind.

5. Have a story telling or singing. Make a new tradition of the family going out (or staying in) singing Christmas songs. Let the children create and put on a Christmas play or puppet show.

There are so many frugal ways to celebrate Christmas, without going into debt or going broke! Sadly, so many parents believe that if they don’t spend money on their kids, that they are depriving their kids. Actually, it’s quite the opposite! They are teaching their kids that Christmas is about one thing – money. It shouldn’t be that way!

There’s nothing wrong in buying Christmas gifts – to some extent. But when parents end up in debt, year after year, just to buy gifts, there is something wrong. When we go broke to get our kids loads of gifts, yes there is something wrong.

This year, make a difference! Have a frugal Christmas, and feel the difference that it makes when your kids are seeing more of what Christmas is really all about.

 

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tips to Save on Pet Care


Providing affordable pet care for your furry friend can be easily achieved with just a little forethought and with your frugal hat on. It really is possible to have a frugal pet with regards to providing everything they need on a budget. A great place to start is at iPriceMatch and finding the lowest prices on pet supplies. Another place is this article on frugal pet care tips. 

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

A Thanksgiving dinner for 8 for under $30 using iPriceMatch is a reality!


Penny Perez, the founder of iPriceMatch, was able to get all of her Thanksgiving groceries for under $30 using iPriceMatch.com and simple recipes. Seems to good to be true? Here is a link to her menu and a link to her iPriceMatch.com shopping list. Or you can listen to Penny tell the story herself on The Morning Blend.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Healthy Holiday Foods on a Budget

A healthy diet is essential, but the holidays can threaten to stretch both health and budget out of shape. By slipping these creative thanksgiving and Christmas ideas into the festivities, food can remain the focal point of the season, even when money is tight.

Reduce Salt Intake

The villain in salt is sodium; it hides in many processed foods. Although important for health, most individuals get more than they need. Buy reduced-sodium and salt-free products whenever possible. In addition, the salt in recipes can be reduced by half without sacrificing flavor.

Use Egg Substitutes

Eggs are inexpensive but high in cholesterol. Using the correct egg substitute depends on its function in the recipe. If the egg binds the ingredients together, one tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with three tablespoons of water, or 1/4 cup of fruit puree will work. If the egg helps the batter to rise, then use two teaspoons of baking powder mixed with two tablespoons of water.

Replace the Fat

Just before thanksgiving and throughout the Christmas season, cake mixes often go on sale. While easy on the budget, these mixes require added oil. To solve the problem, replace the oil with an equal amount of applesauce. No one will notice the difference.

Choose Frozen Produce

When fresh produce is unavailable, frozen costs less and is healthier than canned varieties. Watch for sales and stock up. Frozen mixed vegetables can add an international twist to potato salads.

Buy Fresh Produce

A vegetable garden slashes the budget, but sometimes space is tight. Tomatoes will grow on a patio. Herbs can sit on a sunny windowsill for easy snipping. A few strawberry plants tucked into a planter box will provide a garnish for a healthy pudding. The local fruit and vegetable stand or a farmer’s market offers better deals than the grocery store, but a marked-down produce bin can also provide great bargains for holiday food. Add ripe bananas to traditional Christmas eggnog. Mash that leftover Halloween pumpkin for a special thanksgiving pie. Cooks can even turn those extra-ripe tomatoes into a homemade salsa for a unique holiday treat.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Uncategorized