Thursday, October 27, 2011

Credit Card Debt

I thought you would be interested in this:

This is a Fabulous article that I found today over at MSN ....  and is totally worth the read. 

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One Paycheck Away From Financial Ruin

I have been following the Occupy Wall Street protesters as well as the various other Occupy protests that are taking place not only in The United States but England and Australia as well.  I feel for the protesters, they are standing up for all of us.  While I do not support any violence on the protesters or law enforcements behalf's, I do think the protesters are on to something.  Most of those Americans are really struggling trying to make ends meet, unable to pay for mortgages, credit card interest sky high, medical bills mounting, unable to pay for student loans.  Trying to choose between paying the rent or buying groceries.  The list just goes on and on and on.  Not to mention, the folks who are unemployed and cannot find work, and then there are the ones that are working who can barely keep their heads above water...  and those ever disappearing retirement funds, as well as all those tax increases.  And...  I am sue that I have missed some of the issues, but you get the idea here... Americans are completely fed up with the government and the wealthy that are controlling everything and not being held accountable for anything. 
I also feel frustrated at times.  It seems like you work your tail off, you pay taxes, and at the end of the year you owe more taxes.  You pay off credit card debt, only to have unexpected medical bills and have to use those damn credit cards to get you by till payday.  Hey,  I have been there. 
About a year and 1/2 ago, almost 2 years ago, I decided that I did not want to live this way anymore and really did want to retire at some point...  however, my retirement funds are not co-operating at the moment. 

I stopped living above my means.  I stopped carrying my credit cards. I do not even have them in my purse.   I have paid off 2 credit cards, paid off my car, and am still driving the car. I try and put 10% of my paycheck in savings every month...that does not always work out for me, but even 5% is better than nothing.  I will not shop for food without coupons.  My motto used to be if I don't have a coupon for it I won't buy it...  My new motto is... IF I DO NOT HAVE A COUPON AND IT IS NOT ON SALE...IT DOES NOT GO IN THE SHOPPING CART.
I cash in cans and bottles, I have a garden, I home can veggies from my garden.  Reading is my favorite past time...  I do not hang out at the mall or any other expensive places. I do not buy the latest electronics, or the fashions of the week.   I have completely adopted the frugal lifestyle and mostly out of necessity but also because I really do not want to work until I am Seventy. 

I stand behind the protesters, but I also believe that you have to help yourself and take accountability for yourself.  Learn how to manage your money, how to save your money and how to budget.  Trust me your life will get better.  It is not easy...but it truly is rewarding.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10 Coupon Strategies to Save Money

I found this today over at the Wisdom Journal.....  and I couldn't have said it better.  I do try to match the sales to the coupons...because that is really good savings, and when you can get groceries for cheap and free, that is just fabulous.  Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

10 Coupon Strategies To Save Big Bucks
Posted: 18 Oct 2011 11:00 PM PDT

Do you have a coupon strategy? If you’re using all of my 101 Ways To Take A Bite Out Of Your Food Budget, coupons can be a great way to save some serious additional cash. But to save even more, try one or all of these strategies:

Coupon strategies that work:

Only use coupons to buy products you really use

Layer your coupons with sales and store specials

Find your favorite coupon websites and visit them regularly

Visit those sites early in the month for the best deals

Don’t neglect the manufacturer’s sites

Set up a different email address for couponing

Give the grocery store’s website a visit too

Grocery stores aren’t the only place to buy food or use coupons

Inquire about double coupons

Join the loyalty program

1. Only use coupons to buy products you really use

If you don’t use it or wind up throwing it out, it really doesn’t matter how much money you save. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans throw out over 25% of all the food they buy. If you suspect you won’t eat, consume or use it, don’t buy it … regardless of the savings.

2. Layer your coupons with sales and store specials

Make every attempt to combine your savings opportunities. If you run across a 10 for $10 deal and you have a coupon for $1.00 off … that’s layering.

3. Find your favorite coupon websites and visit them regularly

Coupon issuers will offer many more coupons on these sites than those offered on the manufacturer’s sites, but make sure you check with them on a frequent basis. Many coupons are offered for only a short period of time.

but NEVER pay for coupons. Any site that wants you to pay for a coupon is most likely a scam.

4. Visit those sites early in the month for the best deals

When manufacturers do limit the total number of coupons offered, it usually happens early in the month. Be there first and you’ll get your choice of the offerings.

5. Don’t neglect the manufacturer’s sites

Visiting a manufacturer’s site (such as Kraft) may take a little longer but it’s a great way to find coupons on the specific items you want and use.

6. Set up a different email address for couponing

If you provide an e-mail and/or regular mail address, you can often receive additional coupons direct from the manufacturer. Just do this one thing: set up an entirely different email for receiving coupon offers. Trust me.

7. Give the grocery store’s website a visit too

Your supermarket probably has its own website. It may not offer coupons BUT it probably does have the store’s current ad and store specials. Use it with your coupons to layer your savings and save your gasoline.

8. Grocery stores aren’t the only place to buy food or use coupons

Drug stores and other big box retailers also carry food items and other household goods and most accept coupons. Use the information on those websites to match your coupons with the store’s specials.

9. Inquire about double coupons

Just call and ask — it’s only a few buttons on a phone! Some stores double them as a matter of policy while others may double them only on certain days. Ask about double coupon limits, say up 50 or 99 cents. Of course some stores don’t double ANY coupons but you never know until you ask. That 99 cent coupon may be worth a lot more than you think.

10. Join the loyalty program

Usually you’ll get a card and with that card comes benefits – usually a discount on certain products at the register. The downside is that the store tracks your every purchase but it may mail or email coupons to you based on your previous purchases. Some stores will even mail you coupons on things you don’t normally get coupons for such as milk, vegetables, or fresh fruit.

Couponing is hard work

But it’s worth it. My family has saved 25 – 40 percent using coupons on many occasions and when you have 5 mouths to feed, that’s a welcome relief!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fabulous & Frugal: Best Taco Soup

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