Friday, April 7, 2017

Birthday Freebies

Birthdays are one of the most expensive yearly celebrations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find birthday freebies – everything from free food to gift cards. While these won’t work as a replacement gift, it’s a nice way to treat yourself or someone you know on their birthday free of charge.

We’ve broken down these birthday freebies into 10 categories so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

Free Gift Cards & Coupons

The great thing about gift cards and coupons is that you can spend them any way you like. Benihana restaurant offers the most popular birthday gift card promotion - a $30 birthday certificate when you register for Chef’s Table. Meanwhile, Don Pablo’s offers a $10 gift card on your birthday, while Ace Hardware will give you a free $5 coupon when you sign up for their Rewards program.

Dessert Freebies

Who doesn’t love cake on their birthday? And what about ice cream and other desserts? Lots of places offer free dessert on your birthday, but here are some of the more popular ones:

Dairy Queen – free birthday ice cream when you join their fan club

Baskin Robbins – ice cream on your birthday when you sign up

Big Boy – free dessert when you join their email club

Buffalo Wild Wings – birthday dessert when you join their e-club

Fast Food Freebies

Many fast food places run birthday themed promotions that usually involve signing up for their online club. Better yet, these promotions often include immediate sign-up bonuses to go along with the birthday promotion. Check out some popular options below:

Del Taco – sign up for their raving club for 2 free chicken tacos, as well as a free premium shake on your birthday

Firehouse Subs – get a free sub on your birthday with valid I.D. (no sign-up)

Genghis Grill – get a free birthday stir-fry bowl by signing up for their club

Taco Cabana – sign up to get a free flauta plate on your birthday

Schlotzsky's – sign up with their eclub for a free birthday sandwich

Great American Cookies – sign up for free birthday surprises

Restaurant Freebies

Aside from fast food places, you can also find birthday freebies at standard restaurants. Here are some popular locations that offer free food or dessert on your birthday:

Applebee's - dessert shooter on your birthday when you sign up

Black Angus Steakhouse - get a free steak dinner when you purchase a second entree on your first birthday as a member

Denny's - no signup required, just show up on your birthday with your I.D. to get a free Grand Slam

IHOP – free meal on your birthday when you sign up

Free Stuff

Free food and coupons are pretty nice, but what about free merchandise? While these freebies are more difficult to come by, there are several places where you can sign up to receive a free gift for your birthday.

Aveda – receive a birthday gift with a $20 value when you sign up

Bare Minerals – free gift on your birthday when you sign up

Old Navy – sign up for their emails and you will receive a free birthday surprise

Sephora – sign up for a free complementary gift during your birthday month

Freebies for Kids

Nobody loves birthdays more than kids. Promoters have caught onto this, so there are tons of freebies that are specifically meant for children. Check out some of the best ones below:

Barnes & Noble – free cupcake for your kid’s birthday and 30% off any children’s book or toy

Chuck E. Cheese – sign up for E-Club for free tokens on your kid’s birthday

Ryan’s – sign up for birthday club for a free kid’s meal on their birthday

Bashas' – receive free birthday cake every year through age 10

Toys R Us – join their rewards program and your child will get a free card and gift every year until 10

Movie Freebies

Movies freebies are quite rare, but we did find a few. Harkins Movie theaters offer free popcorn on your birthday. Meanwhile, if you become a member of Disney’s Movie Rewards program, you receive 100 points for free on your birthday.

Entertainment Freebies

Outside of movies, there are several other entertainment freebies you can get. One awesome offer is free admission to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – a medieval theme dinner theatre which includes jousting and sword fighting tournaments. Another neat offer is free bowling at AMF Bowling and other birthday promotions.

Free Birthday Songs

This is certainly one of the more unusual freebies – birthday songs. Unlike commercial music, these songs are completely free to use, download and share. For example, allows you to create personalized birthday songs that will actually use the name you’ve chosen. You can listen to the song, download it, or send it to a friend. Meanwhile, if you’re in the mood for birthday music, check out this totally free album with 140 birthday tracks.

Local Freebies

The freebies we’ve discussed above are either online promotions, or span across multiple states and countries. But what about freebies that are specific to your local area and aren’t found anywhere else? Thankfully, there is a website that helps with just that.

On you can enter your city and find birthday freebies that are specific to that one place. Better yet, the website is not limited to the United States and also lists freebies for Great Britain and parts of Canada.

Free E-books

It’s the age of information, when everything is digitized and information is easily accessible. Even books have gone from paper versions to being stored on a computer in the form of e-books. There are various applications and devices that cater to this format of book reading.

There are a countless number of online libraries which offer free downloads of e-books under just about every topic. With all the choices available, it can be difficult to choose which ones would be the best. Some may not have as good a selection as others, or they may be difficult to navigate. Additionally, there are some which may contain risks such as viruses or corrupted files. With these things to consider, it is helpful to know which sites are the best for downloading great books. Here is a tool to help determine the best options available, listing many of the top websites offering free e-book downloads.

Best Websites for Free Ebooks

Free Kindle Books

What this site lacks in design, it certainly makes up for in selection. It features a long list of titles separated by author for quick finds. As the website name suggests, all the books found on this site are in a file format that is natively compatible for a Kindle reader. This means that any books you download from this site can easily be transferred to your reader, without the trouble of converting it to MOBI or PRC.

The Free Library

Few online libraries have such a wide array of e-books as does the Free Library. Consisting of thousands of books in categories that are nearly as numerous, it is almost certain that whatever your needs, you will find it here. The only genre missing from this library is fiction, excepting classical works, however, the huge number of nonfiction books make it worth mentioning. Aside from books, they also present a large number of periodicals and online articles for readers. Many of these texts can be easily found in a format readable for Kindle.

Planet eBook

Planet eBook is very selective in the books they host, and as a result their selection is very limited. However, it does allow for a better quality in the books that are posted, in both the content as well as the formatting. The library is kept for classics, hosting well-known books such as Alice in Wonderland and A Tale of Two Cities. All files on this site can be downloaded in PDF format.


With its slogan “Library to the world,” Bookyards contains literally thousands of books for free downloads. The books come in PDF format, which is fairly easy to convert to a Kindle readable file. They have books of every type, from classics to modern fiction to gaming.

Poetry in Translation

This one sets itself apart from most e-book websites in exclusively providing only poetry books. It includes translations on assorted texts from Greek, Italian, Chinese, and Latin, just to name a few. Commentaries and critical works are also available. All texts are available in .mobi format for the Kindle.


Though many of the titles found on this site require a purchase, there is also two reserved sections for public domain books and original books, which are free. Separated both by category and by author for easy browsing, it is simple to find the books you need. Once you have made your choice, it is easy to download the book in a format of your choosing- including one compatible for Kindle.


The Baen Free Library is an offshoot of Baen Publishing and hosts a wide number of books categorized by title, series, and author. Many of these are books that would be difficult to find elsewhere, since Baen specifically targets midlist authors who are not well-known. Depending on the book, you may either be able to download the whole novel or just a few sample chapters. Each book is readily available in a Kindle format.


Some versions of the Kindle reader support audio files. For these, LibriVox is dedicated to providing free e-books in audio format. All of their books are ones that already exist in the public domain, making them free for distribution and without cost. The file transfer for audiobooks is the same for texts.

Open Culture

Here can be found both text documents as well as audiobooks for free downloads. Selections include classics, poetry, and more, in both fiction and non-fiction genres. Files are available in a variety of formats, including .mobi.

Free E-books

Free promotes quality e-books in just about every topic under the sun. Hosting literally thousands of books, from the famous to the obscure, it promises a wide range for selection. Some of the books are written by well-known authors desiring to share their works with the world. Thanks to their easy registry, many of the manuscripts are by newer up-and-coming authors who would not otherwise get a share to publish their writings. Each book can be downloaded in a variety of formats, including PDF. The Mobipocket format, which is generally more ideal for a kindle reader, is only available with a membership purchase; however, a PDF is free and can be easily converted.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg specializes in distributing many old classics, offering books that since their date of publication the copyright has expired, making them a part of the public domain. Here is a great place to unearth those difficult-to-find books for either study or pleasure reading, with no membership and no fees.

Free Tech Books

This site takes a different turn in narrowing their selection to a particular genre: technology. Specifically, computer technology. Despite the limitations, the range still manages to be very wide within that topic. Free Tech Books works by linking to various sites that are owned by either the author or publishers of the book, and who under certain conditions freely distribute them.

Get Free E-books

The books found on Get Free E-books were compiled by the creator of the site, who uploaded many of them from his own collection. Others were gathered from across the internet, linking with author’s and publisher’s sites who have posted their own books as free for distribution.

E-book Lobby

Similar to Online Free E-books, E-book Lobby also works with nonfiction material. They are a little more expanded in that they include such works as cookbooks, memoirs and biographies, and much more. Though the bulk of their selection involves reference books, there is also a small section containing fiction books, including children’s books.

The eBook Directory

The eBook Directory is a collection of e-books from around the Web, featuring several different categories including children’s, literature, self improvement, marketing, and more. Additionally, many of these amazing reads can be downloaded in a file format specifically for the Kindle reader. Indeed, many of these books even come directly from Amazon, the internet store that was the creator of the Kindle.

Many Books

With nearly 30,000 books to choose from in its library, Many Books certainly works at living up to its name. New updates to the site include a genre filter and the ever-increasing store of books. Browse by author, title, or genre, or if you have a specific name in mind you can use the search bar near the top of the left-hand side of the page for quick access.

Start Reading!

These are just a few of the sites available which offer free e-books for downloads. With all the books available from just these few, however, there is enough to keep a book lover happy for a lifetime! Books of every type can be easily found for a free download, so there is something for everyone.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Free Stickers

Stickers are so awesome, we can see them everywhere - the back of a vehicle, on someone's traveling bag, laptops, any place you can think of. Why do people do it, though? The answer is simple. Some of us use stickers to express ourselves, what we stand for or what we do for a living. Others like a particular product (like soda), so they stick one anyway. Looking for some free stickers? The following list will let you choose from your favorite ones. Check them out!

Mosko Moto
These guys sell camping gear, traveling bags, moto luggage, hats and T-shirts. Mosko Moto's cool-looking logo is the well-known Basilisk Lizard, often seen running on water surfaces. If you'd like some free stickers from these guys, you can order them here:

SkyRun, Telluride, Colorado
One of the prettiest ski towns in the U.S., Telluride offers natural beauty seen nowhere else on this planet. SkyRun Vacation Rentals is a beautiful ski resort located in Telluride and guess what? They got the most epic free stickers you can find on the Internet, and I kid you not! If you're a big fan of skiing and snowboarding, you should sign up for these awesome quotes. Here's the link:

You must have heard of this exclusive retailer of Burton, The North Face, Mammut, Patagonia, etc. Biking, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping, climbing, fitness gear; you name it - they got it. Turns out they got some 'sticker love' for us, in the form of their official logo. You can easily find them on the following link:

Probably the most famous skateboarding brand, worn by millions of skaters worldwide. Besides selling skateboarding equipment, Element has its own clothing line, as well as men's accessories. You will easily recognize them by having a brief look at their logo. If you're a fan, feel free to apply here:

Blue York Campaign
This powerful eco campaign is basically about preserving New York City's sharks, as they are an important part of the city's ecosystem. They are hunted mostly for their meat and fins, of which various dishes are made. To increase global awareness, the Blue York's organizers offer free stickers with awesome sharks printed on them. Want it? Visit their official website ( and scroll down to the bottom, you'll find it quickly.

But Honey
Specialized in outdoor gear at affordable prices, they got some really cool products, I kid you not! Besides, if you sign up for their newsletter, they will send you one of their funny 'but honey' stickers. How to get one? Open the following link:

Digital Ocean
Are you into IT? Web design, programming, app developer? You will surely love DigitalOcean's free stickers! All you need to do is fill out a single question survey and wait for their mail patiently. Free orders here:

Coast Apparel
To all those living (or have previously lived) in coastal towns, these clothes are what you need. Comfy T-shirts, shorts, accessories, etc. are but a part of what you can choose on their website. Of course, they were kind enough to offer us free stickers. Where's the free stuff? Click here:

Yellowstone or Bust!
If you love travelling, you will definitely want this sticker on the back of your vehicle! The awesome 'Yellowstone or Bust!' sticker comes with a free Wyoming Travel Guide, so if you ever find yourself in this state, it will surely come in handy. Hey, you never know where the roads might take you! Either way, order it here:

The Normal Brand You must have seen people wearing their clothes. There's a variety of men and women collections, along with cool-looking accessories. The best thing is you won't have to do any surveys except input mailing details. Grab a free 'Normal Brand' sticker here:

Jadelynn Brooke 'Happy' Stickers
Girls will definitely love these pink stickers, especially having one on the back of their cars. It may take 2-4 weeks for the sticker to arrive, but you'll get it for sure! Get yours today at

Disney Freebies

Known for its classic animated movies like The Lion King and world-famous entertainment complexes, Disney offers some of the best ways to bring the whole family together. However, when accounting for the price of accommodations, food, tickets, and other expenses, going to Disney World or Disneyland can easily cost you thousands of dollars.

This is why we’ve done some research and compiled a list of completely free Disney stuff for the whole family to enjoy. Below you will find a list of 10 Disney freebies and activities you can enjoy without spending a dime - whether you’re at home with the kids, or visiting one of Disney’s theme parks.

Free Crafts, Printables, and Recipes

The family section of the Disney website has tons of free crafts and recipe ideas that provide a great way for parents to bond with their kids and channel their creativity. You can bake Disney-themed cookies, recreate famous Disney characters and much more. In addition, there are free printables that include coloring pages, party accessories, board games, and other fun activities.

Free Disney Movies

While you’ll be hard pressed to find the newest Disney animated movies for free, there are several websites where you can watch older films free of charge. Some of the names on this list include timeless classics such as The Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Monsters, Inc. and Hercules - all great options for family viewing.

Free Disney Video Games

If you’re looking for more interactive entertainment, Disney has a massive online library of free video games. These include games based on classic characters like Mickey Mouse, as well as Disney’s newer films and TV series like Descendants. With many different categories ranging from action to puzzle games, you’re sure to find something for the kids to enjoy.

Free Disney Parks Vacation Planning Videos

Thinking about visiting Disney World or Disneyland? Disney offers free planning videos that provide information for potential visitors of its two entertainment complexes. The videos include a complete tour of all the parks and hotels at the two locations, as well as tips for finding the right accommodations and information on special events.

They are especially useful if you want to visit one of the resorts, but aren’t sure which one to choose. The videos can be watched online or ordered as a DVD.

Disney Boardwalk

The famous Atlantic-style Boardwalk at Disney World is one of the most popular Disney venues that you can visit for free. Although you may decide to spend money on the shops and restaurants, there are many ways to enjoy your time free of charge.

For starters, you could check out the free Ballyhoo guided tour. However, if you really want to find some free entertainment, visit the Boardwalk in the evening - there are street performers that do magic tricks, juggling, and other fun performances. You might also get a chance to see the 9:00pm fireworks from nearby EPCOT Park.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs, previously known as Downtown Disney, is a large entertainment area of Walt Disney World. Built around a scenic lake, the Springs offer a mix of restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Much like the Boardwalk, the area is free to enter and you can get away without spending a dime.

Some free options here include: the interactive fountains; the Lego Imagination Center, a massive outdoor playing area filled with Lego blocks; and free live music at some of the bars.

Watch the Fireworks

Disney World is famous for the nightly fireworks display at three of its four parks - Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. And it just so happens that you don’t have to pay to get a good view of the most popular one - the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom Park.

The fireworks can easily be viewed from one of the park’s resorts. Ideal observation spots include Disney’s Contemporary resort and the beaches of Bay Lake, at either the Grand Floridian or the Polynesian Village resorts.

Disney Tours

One of the well-kept secrets of Walt Disney World are the completely free, behind the scenes tours found at several resorts. Chief among these is the “Wonders of Wilderness Lodge”, which takes visitors through one of Disney World’s most popular resorts. This daily walking tour looks at the history and inspiration behind the Wilderness Lodge, known for its distinct national park themes and Native American art.

Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of free food and African culture, the Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a daily culinary tour of its two restaurants - Jiko and Boma. In addition, there is a third culinary tour of another African theme restaurant - Sanaa.

See Live Animals

Yet another great way to take advantage of free resort exploration at Disney World is to visit the popular Animal Kingdom Lodge. While the lodge itself is quite interesting, the real gem here are the African animals that roam just outside the hotel.

There are a number of great spots to view the animals - you can walk around the outside of the hotel, go out to the back, and also get a good view from some of the indoor hallways. Why pay for a zoo when you can go to one for free?

Free Monorail and Boat Rides

One of the best ways to get around Disney World is to take the completely free, futuristic monorail that connects EPCOT Park, Magic Kingdom Park, and its nearby resorts.

Better yet, you can also get a free boat ride - after all, Disney World is known for having lots of lakes that connect the different areas of the complex. You can cruise around Crescent Lake, take the boat that visits the Magic Kingdom resorts, and even take the free Sassagoula River Cruise, which takes you from Port Orleans to Disney Springs.

Free After Rebate

Rebates are a very popular sales promotion tactic, especially with expensive items like computer parts. But it’s also possible to find online deals that are completely free after rebate. In these cases, you can get all your money back as long as you’re willing to go through the rebate process.

Check out the 3 websites below for free after rebate deals on many different items including electronics and home appliances.

Freebie Depot lists all sorts of freebie deals, including a free after rebate category. Typical items that you can find here include computer parts and peripherals, cables, cleaning products and kitchen appliances. This website is your best bet for finding free after rebate deals, with new items posted daily.

You can either check the “free after rebate” page, or the “free after rebate offers by expiration date” post which lists currently active offers by their expiration date. Be sure to read through the provided instructions so you understand all of the requirements to get the rebate.

Dealigg is a website that lists online deals and coupons, including free after rebate offers. The site is unique for its community approach – users are able to vote on deals they like, making it easier to find the best items.

There are two ways to find free after rebate items on Dealigg – you can either visit their “free” page which includes all offers that are free, or enter “free after rebate” in their search box. Look for any items with a price of “$0.00 (after rebate).”

Similar to Dealigg, Slick Deals is a website that offers various online deals and coupons. If you’re looking for free after rebate computer parts and consumer electronics, then this is the place to visit. Slick Deals has an entire page dedicated to free after rebate deals from TigerDirect, a popular computers and electronics retailer.

In addition, Slick Deals users contribute new information daily through a forum-like comment system found at the bottom of the page. Be sure to check out these comments for specific details on how to redeem a rebate for a specific item, as well as details on things like shipping.


To sum up, you can find some great free after rebate deals online, but do keep in mind that companies like to use rebates for a reason – they take time to fill out, and you must meet all of their requirements to actually receive the rebate. A completely free watch, for example, may turn into a $20 shipping charge before you know it, so be sure to read all of the provided details.

Cooking Tips to Save You Money

Cooking a delicious meal shouldn’t gobble up your entire grocery budget for the week. With a little planning and preparation, you can make amazing meals for less than you think. There are also plenty of little tips and tricks you can use to save money that you can use to splurge on fancy cuts of meat for a special meal or treat yourself to a fabulous vacation. Make your money and your food work for you by stretching your budget. Here’s how!

Plan your meals at the beginning of each week

Decide what you’ll be making for the week and go through your pantry and refrigerator to see what you will need. Add those items to your grocery list and stick to your plan. But another crucial aspect of this is to look at what is going on sale at your local supermarket. You don’t want to revolve your meals around expensive ingredients or they will literally eat up your entire budget. By doing this, you’ll avoid buying things you don’t really need or making multiple trips to the store which can be a waste of your time and money.

Don’t buy pre-packaged vegetables and salad mixes

You might think that having a bagged salad ready to go is a great idea, but the reality is that in most cases, it will turn bad faster than you can eat all of it. They are also much more expensive than if you were to just buy a head of lettuce and make your own salad. The same goes for pre-washed and pre-cut bags of fresh vegetables. You are much better off buying them unpackaged. Broccoli costs twice as much cut up in those pre-packaged bags. Buy it intact and you’ll be saving big. The same goes for fruit incidentally. Never buy those packages of sliced fruits. You’ll get fresher fruit at a better value if you cut it up yourself.

Try out your green thumb

You can save a lot of money growing vegetables and herbs of your own. Not everyone has room for an entire garden, but some things really don’t need much space and they grow quite quickly. Instead of buying a pre-packaged bag of salad, buy the seeds and grow it yourself. Fresh herbs are great for adding flavor to your dishes but they can be really expensive. Some of them can be grown in little pots right in your kitchen. Others can be grown outside. Rosemary is one that can grow outdoors any time of the year. Visit your local gardening department and see how easy it is to grow your own herbs. It’s so much cheaper and nothing is more satisfying than plucking your herbs fresh off the plant and tossing them into your culinary creations!

Bulk up

Buying in bulk will always save you money if you use things wisely. When it comes to meats, take the time to portion your cuts out and wrap them in butcher paper. Label them and then tuck them into freezer bags. By doing this, you avoid wasting quality food and saving yourself precious time when you need to make a meal. You’ll be able to find things very quickly this way and thaw out only what you’ll need. While buying from the wholesale stores can help you save big on meat, don’t forget to check out the meats at your supermarket for sales and stock up on those too. Big bulk containers of spices like garlic powder are also a great way to save money particularly if you use it in most things you cook. But if you’re going to buy things that you won’t use as often like paprika, remember that spices have a shelf life in your cupboard and they won’t be as flavorful the longer they sit there.

Stock up on staple items

When your local supermarket has a BOGO (buy one, get one) take advantage. Most will also accept coupons on top of that so keep a vigilant eye out for the things you keep in your pantry like olive oil, pasta, and beans for example. These items will keep for a while without spoiling.

Keep a stash of frozen vegetables

It’s never a bad idea to keep frozen vegetables on hand. For starters, they are often cheaper than fresh and they are also higher in nutrients thanks to being frozen at the peak of freshness. Avoid those pricey flavored varieties and buy them plain. Vegetables frozen without sauce have no added sodium, unlike canned vegetables. But the frozen vegetables in cheesy, spicy or Asian sauces tend to have a high sodium count so beware. You can make your own fresh and delicious sauces instead or use these frozen vegetables in soups and stews. Another bonus is that no one will be able to tell they were once frozen.

Use the entire whole-roasted chicken

If you want to buy one of those rotisserie chickens from your supermarket, go for it only if you make use of it in its entirety. If you’re just eating it and tossing the bones, you aren’t getting the most for your money. You can pull all the meat off the bones and use it to shred into soups, sandwiches, salads, and other recipes. Then take those bones and boil them up with water, chopped onions, garlic and seasonings. Allow it to simmer for an hour and guess what you’ve got…homemade chicken broth. You can use this to make soups and to work into other recipes plus it will taste better and have much less sodium than the shelf-stable versions. It freezes well too so make sure to portion it out to get the full benefit of it. By doing this, you make the purchase of the rotisserie chicken a very wise investment.

Go for dried beans

Canned beans are great in a pinch and are an inexpensive way to make your meal heartier. But they also pack a lot of sodium. Dried beans don’t come with all the sodium and are loads cheaper. It takes a little extra prep work to soak them and get them ready but once you do, you can portion them out in containers in your freezer and grab them as needed for your soups, garnish for salads, or to make homemade hummus.

Big batches are the way to go

Whether you have a big family or not, making a big batch of soup, lasagna, or some multi-purpose food like a versatile meat you can use as the base for many different meals will save you lots of money and time in the long run. Plus, everyone has those busy days where everything goes crazy and by the time you get home, there’s no time to make anything good. Instead of blowing your weekly budget on pizza or takeout, you can heat up one of your prepared portions to save the day. Besides, nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal, even if it was cooked fast.

Always sign up for store incentives and memberships

Every supermarket has some sort of rewards program. Plus there’s literally an app for everything now. Use these tools to help you save money on the things you buy every week and take advantages of special incentives and coupons. For example, Walmart has an app called the Savings Catcher. Scan in your receipt and it will scour the advertisements of all competitors in the area. If it finds a price difference, it gives you the money you would have saved if you’d bought it elsewhere. It might only be a few dollars per receipt but that money adds up, and that’s more money in your pocket!

Go to the supermarket in the evening

In the evening, you can score some pretty great deals on perishable foods. That rotisserie chicken will be half off in the evening because the store needs to sell it. The same goes for breads, pastries and anything else that they make fresh. The shelf life of those items is extremely limited and even though they were made in-store that morning, your store needs to move them in order to be profitable, even if it means selling it at half the price. Even on sale though, it’s a waste of money if you don’t use what you buy. Make sure you store your discounted breads in the refrigerator or freezer so that they don’t go to waste.

Buy the store brands instead of national brands

You can save gobs of money just by purchasing your store’s generic brands. When you buy the big name brands, you are often paying for the label and the identity associated with that name. The big name brand of rice is a good dollar more than the store’s generic brand and there is no difference in taste. Try the store brands and you’ll see it’s the same ingredients and that they are most often produced in the same factories as those big name brands.

Reuse as much of your leftovers and scraps as possible

Remember that extra bread you got on sale? You can use it to make bread crumbs or a side of stuffing for your chicken dinner. Crumbs at the bottom of your bag of chips can be saved for making breading on fried foods too. And it doesn’t stop there. Think about all the bits of vegetables you wind up with leftover like the ends of carrots or celery. Save these to toss in with those chicken bones from your rotisserie chicken to make that chicken stock. Get creative with those leftovers too. You can turn leftover mashed potatoes into potato pancakes or stuff them into wonton wrappers for a quick perogie.

When it comes to cooking, you’re only limited by your own imagination and budget if you allow it. Some of the best meals you will make will be from the most simple and wholesome ingredients that will literally cost you only a few dollars to feed your whole family per meal. Start off making one or two changes in your supermarket shopping and cooking habits and then gradually add more. As time goes on, you’ll be an expert chef as well as an expert on savings.

Monday, March 27, 2017

25 Grocery Saving Tips

1. Never Shop Hungry

It's been proven time and again that you will spend more when you are hungry. Whenever possible, include in your grocery saving tips to eat a lite meal before going shopping and it will help you save money. By shopping after you have eaten, you ’will find that you will be more likely to pass up the junk food and items that you don't need.

2. Plan Ahead

Always plan out your meals and your shopping list before going to the store. You will end up spending two to three times more if you go shopping without a plan. Creating a shopping list from planned meals will also help you to be more organized about daily meals and help you see where you can combine some items to use on a variety of meals. It also helps to create a standards list of items that you use regularly.

3. Know the Sales Days

Know what days particular stores have their sales. Most stores will post weekly sales on Wednesdays. Look over the ads before going to the store and base your shopping on the sales items. As an example: if you see that chicken is on sale one week, plan a chicken dinner for that week or purchase multiple packages of chicken and freeze them for future meals.

4. In-Season Produce

It's always a good thing to include fruits and vegetables in your meal planning, but if you only want certain items, you will find yourself paying much more for those items when they are out of season. By purchasing in-season fruits and vegetables, it not only do you saves you money, but you will also get used to eating a wide variety of items so you are not getting burned out on a particular fruit or vegetable.

5. Know the Store Policy

Many stores will accept competitors’ coupons, but not all of them do. You don't want to get to the checkout stand with all your shopping items and find out that your coupons are not going to be accepted. Know ahead of time whether the store accepts competitors’ coupons and it will help save you a lot of frustration.

6. Monthly Shopping

You can save money by purchasing staples like paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc by the bulk on a monthly or even a three-month basis. Bulk supply stores are great for saving money on items that can be stored without spoiling. Check the ads for these stores to find even more savings on bulk items that you can store away.

7. Consider Dollar Stores

Many people are helping to stretch their budgets by including dollar stores in their shopping routine. Several dollar stores includes items like kitchen utensils and school supplies that could cost you two to three times more at a regular grocery or department store. Check dollar store ads for items that you might need. Many also carry canned foods and sandwich items.

8. Time Your Shopping

Frustration and crowds can cause you to end up spending more at the store. Time your shopping to avoid the crowds. By shopping between 8am and 10am, you can avoid most crowds that typically shop in the afternoon, especially after work. Many store bakeries also put out discounted items like bread and pastries in the morning, providing another way of saving money.

9. Consider Generic Brands

Brand names do not always mean it’s the best. You can save a lot of money by purchasing generic items. Buying generic doesn't mean that you have to give up on quality. If you prefer a name brand food item, you might be able to save on other items like prescription medications or paper goods and household items.

10. Save More by Buying More

Sometimes buying an item like paper towels or toilet paper can save you money if you buy in larger packages. If you are able to afford it, buying a package of twenty-four can sometimes save you more money than buying a package of eight. Check the current prices and see if you will not save more money by buying larger quantities that can be stored.

11. Expiration Dates Don't Necessarily Mean The Product is Bad

Check items that are close to the expiration date. Stores will often greatly reduced items like meat and dairy that are set to expire the next day, in order to get the item sold. By checking expiration dates you can save a lot of money. Obviously, don't buy items that are past their date by weeks unless it’s dry goods that you know won’t spoil.

12. Watch Your Items During Scanning

It happens a lot. Usually by mistake or computer error, but it does happen. Watch your items as they are being scanned to verify that the right price is being rung up and it is only for the number of items you have purchased. This will save you money from any accidental or computer error charges. Also watch for items that are marked on sale or have special sticker prices to verify they’re rung up properly.

13. Use Cash

Set aside a budget and stick to it. If you only want to spend $100 on shopping, put aside a $100 and don't make it possible to spend more. It's easy to spend more than you intended unless you stick by your budget. Grocery saving tips can help you to save money, but only if you stick to your budget. If you're someone who has to have some impulse money, include a certain amount in your budget for those purchases and stick to the amount.

14. Shop Without Kids if Possible

If possible, go shopping without the kids. Anyone who has ever shopped with their children knows that they want everything they see and will keep asking until you give in. If you’re able to go shopping without them, it will help you to save money and stick to your budget. As a way of compromise, work a special item or gift into your budget if you can. It takes a great deal of discipline to stick with a budget, but it will be worth it in the long run.

15. Look Above and Below Eye Level

Grocery and department stores will use a variety of marketing methods to get customers to purchase the higher ticket items. One of those methods is to place the higher priced items at eye level so it is easier to see. In order to save money, check out the items on the upper and lower shelves. These are often the more budget-friendly and inexpensive items. Take a little extra time to look over all the items in order to save money.

16. Use Coupons

Using store coupons is a great way to save money. Coupons can save you a lot of money when used the right way. Before using a coupon, make sure the store you are using them in accepts the coupon and check with the store to see if they accept double coupons. Extreme couponing has been known to allow some customers to get hundreds of dollars of merchandise for pennies, if not for free.

17. Know the Store Layout

Most stores are laid out so that you end up in the back of the store if you go up and down each aisle. This means you have to walk back up the aisle to get to the checkout stands, requiring you to walk by more items that can tempt you to buy more. Know where to start and where you need to finish to save the most money.

18. Check with Store Employees for Special Deals

It never hurts to ask employees if there are any special deals available or any deals coming up. Employees are often aware of special deals that can help you save some money when you're shopping.

19. Rethink Endcap Deals

Items that are placed on endcaps are made to look as if they are special deals. While many of the items on endcaps may be lower priced than they normally are, checking other items on the shelves will show you that you might be able to find a better deal for the same item. Other brands or different amounts could be a better deal than what is advertised on the endcaps.

20. Get Larger Meat Cuts and Ask the Butcher for Help

Rather than buying pre-sliced or cut meat, you can save a lot of money by buying a larger piece of meat, like a roast, and asking the butcher to cut it up for you. A roast can be ground into hamburgers or cut into smaller pieces to be used for things like a pot roast.

21. Avoid Inner Aisles if Possible

Not only are there ways to save money by practicing grocery saving tips, but you can also eat healthier by knowing how the store is arranged. The healthy items such as fruits and vegetables along with dairy items and meats are all arranged along the outer walls. Canned foods and many unnecessary items are in the center aisles where shoppers spend most of their time. Canned foods and snack items are typically marked up higher than healthier foods, causing you to spend more on items that aren't always healthy for you.

22. Use Rain Checks

When stores advertise deals in the paper, it can attract a lot of attention, especially if it’s a really good deal. It is not uncommon for you to get to the store and find out that they're sold out of the item you want. They offer you a rain check, but you want the item or a similar item now. By accepting or asking for a rain check, you can still save money on the item, just at a later date. Always be careful of spending more money on an item just because you want it today rather than waiting.

23. Make Items from Scratch

You can save a lot of money by learning to make items from scratch rather than buying pre-made packaging. It might be easier to make baked goods and breads from pre-packaged items that only require adding water or a few ingredients, but you pay more for the convenience of doing that. By learning how to make items from basic ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, etc, you can save yourself a lot of money and end up eating healthier since there are not any preservatives in the natural ingredients you use.

24. Make Your Own Spice Mixes

Most pre-packaged spice mixes, while convenient, are also filled with preservatives and other items to keep them available on the store shelves. By learning to combine natural flavors you can make your own spice mixes that taste much better and add to the flavor of your food. There are a number of recipes available that can help you make spice mixes from basic ingredients like chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, ground pepper and more. You can find many of these basic ingredients at local dollar stores, saving you a lot of money.

25. Grate Your Own Cheese

Convenience ends up costing you a lot of money. In order to have convenience, the cheese industry has created pre-packaged grated cheese, but it costs you more for the convenience. By purchasing a block of cheese and grating it yourself you can save a lot of money. You can also buy a block of cheese and have the deli clerk cut it up into slices for you to use in sandwiches ,etc. By taking the time to perform small jobs like grating cheese yourself, you can save a lot of money throughout the year.