family

Apple Unveils Online Store With 10% Discount for U.S. Veterans and Active Military

It’s hard enough to come by discounts on Apple products as it is, so 10% off is a pretty good deal.  It may be worth sharing this with any friends or family members who might qualify.

Dig Into Your Heritage With Ancestry DNA for $59!

You’ve probably seen the Ancestry.com ads by now about researching your family history. If you’ve been waiting to try their DNA product though, now is a great time, as it’s available for $59 until August 20th!

Money Tip Monday: How To Save at the Grocery Store

grocery store The grocery store can always be one of the largest pain points of any budget.  Sure, you think to yourself, “I wrote a list, and I’m sticking to it!”  Inevitably though, grocers often get the leg up on consumers with enticing deals and offers that you weren’t planning on spending money on.  However, with a little forethought and planning, you can still come in under budget the next time you run out for “just a bag of chips.”

While we’ve written before about saving time, money and patience at the grocery store as well as more ways to save on food – sometimes it can help hearing from fellow consumers on how they save money when going grocery shopping as well.

Recently Dave Ramsey’s team collected responses from their Facebook page on how to save money at the store, so we wanted to share these with the hopes that they could help you too!

1. Crunch some numbers while you shop.

“Stick to your list and use a calculator as you shop to stay under budget. We’re under $50 a week for our family (two adults and a toddler). No junk food either. It’s doable!” — Amanda N.

2. Get creative with the food you have on hand.

“Don’t feel like you need to buy something just because you’re out of it. Raid your pantry and fridge for substitutes first. Make your meal plans around what you already have.” — Carla A.

3. Start freezing and storing meals now.

“Cook big meals and divide leftovers into portions and freeze them. Freeze as much as you can from your shopping. Nothing beats already having it.” — Anthony R.

4. Round up your grocery store cost estimates.

“I use tally marks to keep track of what I’m spending, and I always round up every item. Even if the item is $1.29, it gets two tally marks. That way, by the time I check out, I’m both aware of approximately what to expect and surprised to still be under what I wanted to spend.” — Jilian H.

5. Use the envelope system.

“Use the envelope system and put unnecessary items at the end of the counter. I would tell the cashier I only had a certain amount of money to spend and to stop when I got to that point. Instead of it being an embarrassment, it was a bonding moment for me and the cashier when I made my goal, or even if it didn’t work out.” — Jan B.

6. Don’t allow for budget-breaking surprises.

“Our grocery store offers ‘scan it.’ You can walk around with a scanner and scan your items as you shop. It keeps a total for you so you’re never surprised at the register—and you can decide if you really need certain things.” — Jamie M.

7. Stick to a meal plan.

“Meal plan ahead of time with your favorite store’s ad in hand. Buy larger quantities of what’s on sale and freeze it. Stick to your list. And never grocery shop hungry!” — Nikki G.

8. Don’t buy more than you need.

“Just because something is marked two for $5, four for $10, etc., doesn’t mean you have to buy that many items. You get the same discounted price if you buy just one.” — Stacy H.

9. Test out your green thumb.

“Try growing a garden. There’s an initial investment, but it pays off in terms of produce for the year.” — Ash B.

10. Shop online and pick up at the store.

“My wife makes a list and then orders all the groceries online. We pull up at the store and they bring them out to the car and help load them in. It is convenient, saves time, and there is no impulse buying inside the store while walking around with the kids.” — Matthew G.

11. Try going meatless for a meal.

“We do a meatless meal one to two times a week. We budget $500 for a family of five. Sometimes it’s too much, sometimes it’s the perfect amount. If we don’t spend it, we put it toward our debt snowball.” — Holly M.

12. Eat leftovers for lunch.

“We almost always have a nice dinner every night and are really good about taking the leftovers for lunch. I think it’s important to have a family dinner every night. Yes, sometimes we go cheap. But no matter what you cook, if you consistently eat at home, it’s way cheaper than going out all the time.” — Cindy N.

13. Buy generic.

“We shop at a great grocery store known for their low prices, and most stuff we buy is generic. We no longer buy desserts or junk food, which cut probably $200 from our budget.” — Erin A.

14. Only buy meat when it’s on sale.

“Choose different cuts of meat. For example, we love boneless skinless chicken thighs, and they are so much cheaper than chicken breasts. They taste better too.” — Colleen M.

15. Leave the over-spenders at home.

“My #1 [grocery store hack] is banning my husband from going to the grocery store! We saved at least $300 a month by him not going.” — Melissa W.

Granted a lot of the above tips may SEEM like common sense.  However, sometimes those can be the best advice as well!

Money Tip Monday: Get a Safe Deposit Box

safe deposit box A safe deposit box may seem big and bulky, and can take up a lot of space.  However, in today's day and age of ever changing weather events, and life changing moments, you never know when you might need one.

Safe Deposit Box: An Ounce of Prevention

The last thing you want to have to worry about should disaster strike is finding your important documents and files.  A safe deposit box can help with this, and would highly advise all readers to look into obtaining one in some shape or fashion.

From Jonathan Pond's 'Ponderings Newsletter:

A good record-keeping system is one that is (a) complete enough to be effective and (b) simple enough that you will use it regularly. The computer can be a big help in your record-keeping but it is not essential. Even genuine computer enthusiasts will still have to maintain some paper records. Every good record-keeping “system” has three main components:

  1. A safe deposit box that should contain important personal papers that are either impossible or very difficult to replace if lost or destroyed. Be sure to keep a summary of the contents of your safe deposit box in order to avoid a wasted trip to the bank looking for something that isn’t there. A home safe is an alternative that you may want to consider. Just make sure that the safe is both secure (for example, bolted to the floor) and fire resistant.

  2. An active file kept at home that keeps track of personal papers and important information necessary to help in preparing your current year’s tax returns. Because the active file needs to be easily accessible, it should be located in a convenient and pleasant location. It doesn’t need to be fancy; a few manila file folders should suffice.

  3. An inactive file kept at home or in storage primarily for the purpose of proving past tax returns. A few other items should also be kept in your inactive file, including invoices and canceled checks pertaining to any home improvements and investment statements necessary to substantiate capital gains and losses. If you’re brokerage or mutual fund firm maintains all of the required capital gain information, you probably don’t need to keep past investment statements. You may also want to keep in the inactive file important papers that are not currently needed, such as family health records and proof that major debts and other contracts have been discharged.

As you go about organizing or improving your personal records, take the opportunity to get rid of unnecessary papers. You don’t need to hoard personal papers in order to fill up your presidential library. You don’t need to keep receipts and bills and bank statements for years on end. You might even want to regularly repeat the mantra: “when in doubt, throw it out.”

Save Money on Baby Diapers

Save on Honest Company Diapers

As new parents ourselves, we know all too well that one of the largest expenses many parents go through is diapers.  They are a fact of life when it comes to raising a child, a fact that is not lost on diaper manufacturers.

The Honest Company realizes this for parents and wants to offer an extra $20 off your first diapers and wipes bundle:

According to the company's story, their goal is to relieve parents of a few tasks by delivering family essentials right to your doorstep, allowing you to simplify your life and generate more time for you to be able enjoy what's most important in life.