• Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Meal Planning… Save Time, Save Money, Eat Healthier…stay sane

        I love to cook and I think it’s a skill that helps me save money and eat healthier foods. One thing I’m a huge believer in is meal planning. Every week I sit down plan out one or two weeks, yes, even a whole month’s meals. I print out recipes and then make a grocery list and that way I don’t waste food or give in to impulse buys. This year, I’ve been busy…maybe I’m getting a bit fatigued with the whole meal planning thing too, but I thought wouldn’t it be great if someone else did this for me? I did an Internet search for meal planning sites, tried…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Credit Cards-Enemy of the Budget Smart Girl…well sometimes-Part Two

      Here’s part two of when it might be a good idea to use a credit card… You Get a Bonus – Some credit cards offer you immediate cash and credit the moment you open the account and if you use it within a certain amount of time. If you pay the bill off before it adds interest then it’s a great deal. You Get Cash Back – If you’re going to get cash back for your purchases, and you’re going to pay it off before any interest is added, then it’s a good deal. Points to You– Some cards offer points which can be used for things like flights,…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Credit Cards-Enemy of the Budget Smart Girl…not always-Part One

      I have to admit I’m not a fan of credit cards. I delayed having one, until many years ago when I took a trip with my mother to the Pacific Northwest. We’d booked a rental car and when we landed at the airport, my mother discovered she’d left her driver’s license at home. I handed over mine but because I didn’t have a credit card they wouldn’t let us rent the car in my name, even though we had mom’s credit card. Long story short, my mom did find her driver’s license after another search of her purse and we got our rental car. All was not lost but when I…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Ten Phone Shopping Apps That Could Save You Money

      Just about everyone has a cellphone and new shopping apps you can use on them are springing up every week. Many of them can help you save money via percent off coupons, tell you about daily deals, or provide rebates. Here are ten you might want to check out…   LivingSocial – This shopping app that works on both Android and iOS will help you find local deals that are up to 90 percent off. You can match the deals to your shopping list. https://www.livingsocial.com/mobile Amazon Price Check – This app helps you scan barcodes in person to find out if you can get the item less expensively online…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Splurge on Clothing and Shoes?

      I’m seeing lots of articles about fashion week and what’s going to be the next ‘in thing’ in clothing. Some of my clothes are older than I’d like to admit to and I think I’ve always been budgt savvy about making wise purchases. Cheap isn’t always necessarily better especially if you want them to last. So here are some tips on how to decide if something is worth spending more money on… Check Your Closet Look in your closet. Note any clothing that is not a well-known, well-made brand, which you bought on the spur of the moment because it was cheap. After you wear these items and clean them,…

  • Budget Smart Cook,  Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Slow Cookers are a Budget Smart Girl’s Best Friend

      I own two slow cookers and I’m seriously thinking about adding to my collection. I’ve owned one of them for close to 20 years but the second one was a refurbished one I bought for $9 from Hollar. It’s programmable where the first one isn’t and to say it gets used a lot is an understatement. These machines use little energy, save you time, and best of all save you money. Bottom line, these wonder machines are a budget smart girl’s best buddy. No Fuss Meals For starters, slow cookers are perfect for creating no-fuss, one-pot meals. As an added bonus, they render cheaper cuts of meat mouthwateringly tender…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    How You Save and Budget

      Summer isn’t officially over yet but the summer budget makeover is drawing to a close on Saturday. If you remember back in late May I set a challenge to myself (and to you too), to monitor and track your spending over the next three months. I’ve figured out that if I’m saving toward a specific goal I do much better than if I tell myself to just put aside money for savings. I also found out that when I do spend money, 90% of the time it’s on something I think will make me money somewhere down the road. Not a bad thing but now I have to see if I’m…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    How to Ask for a Discount-Part Two

        Last week’s post focused on when to get discounted goods and services, this one is all about how to ask for a discount. Here are some easy to follow tips to get you started- Ask – It all starts with simply asking. “What is your best price on this fridge?” Be Courteous – Smile, look assistants in the eye, treat them with respect and be polite and friendly. If you’re rude and pushy, they’re just going to say no. So it pays to be nice. Remember the saying about flattery will get your everywhere…and let’s add everything to that too. Find the Person in Charge – There is…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    When and How to Ask for a Discount-Part One

      One way to be a Budget Smart Girl is to ask for a discount on just about everything you plan to buy. Yes, you never have to settle for the listed price but the key is knowing when and how, and a lot depends on the actual item. Here are some guidelines- Cars – Anytime you shop for a new car you should never pay the retail price for it. The best time to shop for a new car is the last day of the month because that’s when everyone is trying to reach their quotas. Consumer Reports gives great information about how inexpensively you can get a vehicle…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Why Timing Is Everything When You Shop

      Timing is important when you shop for bargains because retailers introduce new items to their line on a schedule. For example, it’s a good idea to buy out of season for clothing to get the best deals, and for cars, pick the end of the year when the new models arrive. End of Day – This is especially true for thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales. It can work with almost any type of item that is sold via a salesperson who is tired (such as furniture, appliances, and cars), and if you go to locally owned and operated stores. End of Season – Each type of product has…

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