AVP/SR. Mortgage Loan Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage Company
Phone: 360-679-5633 / 360-969-5550
License: NMLS#304060 / CL-157293
Food and Fuel
Dealing with the Rising Cost of Everyday Necessities
It seems like not a day goes by that we don't hear about the rising price of either groceries or gasoline. This might not be such a difficult pill to swallow if we were talking about luxury items, but food and fuel are hardly that. They are everyday necessities that we cannot live without. In the spirit of making your life easier, the following are our tips for saving at the checkout stand and at the pump. And be sure to watch the Kiplinger video above to see if shopping at the big box stores can really help trim your food bill.
SAVING AT THE CHECKOUT STAND
It is very important to understand that grocery stores are designed to entice the consumer into buying products. Everything from displays to promotions is geared to increase sales. If you're looking to save money on your weekly groceries, it is imperative that you combat these temptations. The following are some great tips that are sure to help.
Don't shop on an empty stomach
Coupons are good...to a point
We suggest going through the Sunday paper and cutting out only the coupons for items you already buy. The rest of the coupons can either go in the recycling bin or can be traded with friends who use those particular products. If that's not an option, there are countless online message boards and forums that deal solely with coupon trading. There's a good chance there are also private groups in your area who get together for the sole purpose of trading coupons. Do a Google™ search and see what you find.
Make a shopping list
So now that we've addressed a few components to maintaining your self-control, let's talk organization.
Much of your organizational success depends on how well you understand your family's needs. Every family is different, so there is no way we can set forth a plan that is perfect for all. What we can do, however, is give you some really great tips to get you started.
Know your schedule
If your family eats dinner together regularly, we suggest planning out meals a week in advance and then shopping accordingly. This is a great for taking advantage of sales and for utilizing ingredients in several other meals throughout the week. It also cuts down on trips to the market. Simply put, it's a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck.
However, if dinner is inconsistent in your home, then it makes no sense to buy a week's worth of fresh food. There's a good chance that a lot of it will go to waste. At this point, you are better off making more trips to the store and buying lesser amounts. The key here is to figure out your eating schedule, and create a shopping schedule to match it.
Warehouse stores can be big money savers if you use them correctly. Remember, you are buying in bulk, so unless you have a big family and a lot of cold storage, they may not be the best place to purchase groceries. However, when it comes to non-perishable items like paper goods, household cleaners and bottled water, warehouse stores cannot be beat. Word to the wise: shopping lists are even more important at warehouse stores. Get in, buy what's on the list, and get out. Otherwise, your cart can quickly be filled with many things you don't need.
Navigate your grocery store
SAVING AT THE PUMP
Consumers throughout North America can log on to the site on a daily basis to report prices at their local gas stations. The website then sorts through the information and lists the stations that sell the cheapest, as well as the most expensive gas.
As you can imagine, the information provided by Gasbuddy.com is not only helpful on an everyday basis, but it can also be used to help plan out driving trips. The website will even text or email price updates to your phone, allowing you to keep current with the best deals.
So, now that we know where to purchase gas at the lowest prices, let's take a look at how we can use less of it.
Care for your car
Don't neglect the tires
Keep your mind on the pedal
The next bad habit when it comes to the gas pedal is what's known as "jackrabbit driving." If you are unfamiliar, it is the constant pressing and releasing of the gas pedal. It not only makes for an uncomfortable ride, it also wastes gas. When driving on the freeway, it is recommended to do so in cruise control. It controls your speed and saves on gas.
Easy on the A/C
Lighten your load
Buy gas in the morning
We hope these tips help. Remember, just because gasoline and food are necessities, it doesn't mean we have to be held hostage by high prices. Good luck being a smart consumer.
License AK# 157293 Washington Consumer Loan Company license# CL-157293 California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License# 4131067
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650 NE Midway Blvd., Suite 101
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
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