Money

How to save money on groceries?

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Grocery trolley. by Poly Cart

How much money do you spend on groceries a week? How would you like to get tips on a cheaper grocery shopping experience? Here are a couple tips in order to find exactly what you want for cheaper.

It’s easy to save money on groceries. For starters, start reading your supermarket’s weekly ad to see what items are on sale. Look for coupons online and in newspapers, and present them when you’re shopping. Some supermarkets offer “double coupon” deals, in which they double the coupon’s deal for maximum savings. Read the fine print to make sure that you’re getting the deal you intended to get.

Choosing the store for you
It’s important to choose the correct store for the amount of groceries you are about to purchase is important. If you are going to buy in bulk, Costco and Walmart would be your best bets. You get to choose more food for less money, meaning your food will last longer and you won’t have to shop as much. On the other hand, if you want to buy enough for a couple days or a week stores such as Albertson’s ,Smart and Final, Safeway and Trader Joe’s are great, and they also have sales and promotions.

Finding the best deal
Pay attention to the prices of the items you are buying at various stores. Find the most expensive grocery item that is always important to get, and compare prices among the stores. You are bound to save money on this item if you search among other grocery stores.

Hint: when supermarkets say “10 items for $10”, you do not need to buy 10 items unless explicitly stated. That would mean that an individual item is a dollar. However, some deals require you to buy a minimum number of items, so be sure to read closely!

Buy while on sale
Stores always have sales on produce, so even if you have enough of this one grocery item that’s on sale, buy it anyways. You will eventually finish your amount and won’t be able to find this same produce at this sale price. Don’t hesitate and buy the items you need when they go on a significant sale price.

How can I save money when shopping online?

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Coupons 4 by Hobbies on a Budget

No matter your background, we all love getting a better deal. Below are a couple of ways to save money online.

Amazon
Amazon is a great place to check prices and get just about anything. Because of its size, it has great logistics and low shipping fees–sometimes none at all. It’s also a marketplace, meaning multiple sellers compete, which leads to better prices overall. Amazon is usually the easiest place to get new items, although used items are available as well. Amazon reviews provide a useful guide for consumers, as both an overall rating and with individual stories in those reviews.

eBay
eBay is the go-to place for used items. It’s an online auction site where you can find everything from baby socks to automobiles. Because there is a marketplace, sellers compete for your purchase, bringing down the price. On the other hand, because there are auctions, buyers compete for the product until it sells for whatever someone is willing to pay. There are some more complex models and variations but that’s pretty much it. It’s a real marketplace. Just make sure to read the description carefully and to check a seller’s ratings before making your bid.

DealOz
DealOz provides a great textbook price comparison engine, comparing major bookseller prices and making previous editions easy to find. They also have links to various coupons and include shipping estimates as well.

Big Stores
Walmart, KMart, and Target have online stores as well, sometimes with very competitive pricing and shipping options.

Retailmenot.com
This website offers discount codes and coupons for just about any website on and off of the net. Users rate the coupon codes, so you can very quickly know if one is worth trying.

Mailing Lists
If you like a specific store–sign up for their newsletter. Most send out special deals and coupons to bring you back in. Some send you birthday presents. There are also websites like Gilt, which offer exclusive deals on high quality items–kind of like a Groupon for nice clothes. On a similar note, Groupon itself now offers deals for specific items.

How do I find best deals on airline tickets?

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American Airlines 737 Airplane Photo i002 by Grant Wickes

Follow tweets and news updates
Every airline company has a Twitter were they post their promotions and deals. You can find good deals on holidays and anniversary events.

Airline email alerts
Every airline has its own email subscription service. There is an option to subscribe to deals and price alerts. If you are looking for a specific flight/trip, you specify that online and it will constantly email you with an update of prices.

Buy ahead of time
You want to start a search for airline for any trip you are planning in the near future. The earlier you request dates, the cheaper the tickets will cost. The longer you wait, the more likely spots will be taken. Also make sure to buy tickets on Tuesday at 3p.m. ET, this is when sites upload most discounts.

Kayak’s price overview for planning
Kayak has a great tool that shows the daily prices for 1-way tickets. You can use this to find which days in a month or which months to aim your travel for. Use this and plan to plan your next trip.

Priceline’s “Name Your Price Tool” for last minute travel
If you are looking last minute, you can try Priceline’s Name Your Price tool, they will show the prices of recent purchases, which you can also use as a guide.

More tips at: Mashable Airline Discount Tips

Life Hacks to Leverage Your Work and Industry Expertise Into Savvy Stock Investments

You may not be Warren Buffett, but what’s stopping you from making a few savvy stock market investments in your own field of expertise? Read more about these finance life hacks that will help you get started with stock market investments related to your work. 

If you don’t know anything about stock market trading and other such markets for investors, then it’s understandable that you don’t want to get involved in what could end up as a mess. But you should also know that investing is more of a science these days aided by all kinds of tools and analysis methods that leave very little room for chance.

There are basically two types of analysis – fundamental and technical. The latter is where you make use of historical and real-time data and plot the charts and study the short-term trends and moving averages in order to decide which way the stock is going to move and up to what level before it hits resistance or support.

Fundamental analysis is where you look at the big picture of the economy, the market, the company’s finances and business model and the growth possibilities in that business sector. If everything looks good and primed to grow and generate more revenues and earnings, then the stock should be worth buying. Sounds simple, but for this to work you need to know about the industry in question and the company in particular.

Stock market investors therefore spend a lot of time studying companies and business sectors. You, on the other hand, are already an expert regarding the industry and company you work for. Use that knowledge to good effect and become an investor in your own company if you think it’s fundamentals are sound and it is primed to grow. 

On the other hand, you may know that your employer is on shaky ground and the future doesn’t seem all that bright. In this case, you could actually invest in a competitor who is doing a lot better. Either way, the idea here is to leverage your insider status to take a position that is a sure thing while at the same time teaching you how to invest.

How to Successfully Set Financial Goals

Financial goals are different than financial dreams. While dreams are something you someday hope to achieve, goals are something you have carefully planned for. Setting goals allows you to take charge of your money, assess you current financial situation, and figure out what steps you need to take in order to slowly improve your finances over time. There are three things you need to do in order to successfully set financial goals. 

Write them down

Start with the easiest part – writing your goals down. Some might be big, like buying a house or paying off your credit card debt; others might be smaller, like saving for a new flat screen TV. Either way, you have to make sure that your goals are as specific and realistic as possible. For instance, earning 1 billion dollars in the next six months isn’t realistic, unless if you own a Fortune 500 company. 

Set a target date

Once you have written your goals down, create an estimate of how much they will cost. Then, figure out approximately how much time it will take you to save the amount of money needed to reach them and set a target date for each goal on your list. Use this as your deadline – if the goal isn’t time-bound, it’s possible that you will lose your motivation along the way and be tempted to fall into the trap of procrastination.

Budget

If you don’t have a monthly budget by now, you should really make one; budgeting is the best way to minimize your chances of overspending. It’s not as difficult or unpleasant as it may sound at first. It simply means that every month you allocate a certain amount of money for every expense you have (like rent, personal shopping, groceries, entertainment, savings) and you do your best to stay within that limit. 

Now, calculate how much you will need to save each month to reach your goals, based on the estimated cost of your goals and your target date. Include that amount in your monthly budget, under savings. 

That’s it. It’s time to put your plan into action and watch your goals turn into reality. Good luck!

How to Successfully Set Financial Goals

Financial goals are different than financial dreams. While dreams are something you someday hope to achieve, goals are something you have carefully planned for. Setting goals allows you to take charge of your money, assess you current financial situation, and figure out what steps you need to take in order to slowly improve your finances over time. There are three things you need to do in order to successfully set financial goals.

Write them down Continue reading