6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Grocery Budget brought to you by Brice Capital

The monthly grocery budget can be a big number, especially for families. Groceries can cost 100s or over a thousand dollars a month depending on dietary needs, family size, and preferences. Here are some ways to help give you some wiggle room in your grocery budget. Thanks to Brice Capital I’m here to give you a few of my tips. As a family of 6 our grocery budget could get out of hand fast if I didn’t budget and find ways to save!

Couponing

Couponing isn’t all cutting coupons out of the paper. Stores like Market Basket, Giant Eagle, Family dollar and more offer eCoupons on their apps. Cash back apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Saving Star give you cash back . There are even coupon clipping service that let you buy only the coupons you want in greater quantities. So let’s say you know you are going to be buying Pampers diapers, you can order 5 Pampers diapers coupons.

The key to really saving money is to line the coupons up with sales. There’s tons of couponing groups out there now. Google the name of your favorite grocery or drugstore and with the phrase “couponing” after it and you’re sure to find one. I love to shop Giant Eagle for couponing because they double coupons. Ladysavings.com is awesome for Giant Eagle, Walmart, and Kroger and a few others but, in my opinion, best for Giant Eagle.

Some Ideas for Sources for coupons

  • coupons.com
  • klip2save.com
  • Ibotta
  • Checkout51
  • newspapers
  • manufacturer websites
  • Kellogg’s Rewards (for Kellogg’s products)

Clearance Sections

Oh do I love my clearance sections. Find discontinued products, overstock products, scratch and dent, and more. The deals get even better if you have coupons that match up. As an example, my local Giant Eagle is no longer offering Seattle’s Best brand coffee. They had k-cups and bags for only $3.00 each plus I had a coupon for $2 off if I bought two making it only $2 per box of k-cups! Giant Eagle, Walmart, Rite Aid, and many other stores have a regular clearance area.

Bulk Buys

This one you have to compare. If you’re normally buying Brand X body wash for $3 a bottle but you can get a bulk 3 pack for $7 it’s obviously a better deal. I’ve found that club stores don’t always have the best price for bulk prices though. So you really have to know what you normally spend on your fave products.

Additionally there are number of places that let you buy cases of meats such as chicken breasts, bacon, hamburger etc and a discounted rate. There are several places near me that have these case deals periodically like Market Basket and Fisher Country Store.

What About Produce?

Glad you asked. There’s lots of ways to save on produce. When of my favorite ways I just discovered is Misfit Market box. They offer misfit produce at discounted prices and shipped right to your door.

Farm co-ops are another great way to get lots of fresh produce direct from the source for less.

Additionally, cash back apps like Saving Star and Ibotta frequently offer cash back on product purchases.

Rewards Programs

A lot of grocery and drugstores have their own rewards programs: RiteAid, Giant Eagle, Food Lion, CVS, Kroger…actually it might be harder to find one that doesn’t. These rewards programs can offer anything from lower prices, extra discounts after so much spent, special deals for rewards members and more.

Brice Capital Highlight Tip: Stockpiling

This works great with the coupons. So let’s say you have a coupon for shaving cream for $1 off one can. They have this particular shaving cream on sale for $2. If you use the coupon you can get it for $1. Pretty good deal considering this shaving cream is regularly $3.50 a can. So you get a coupon from the paper and you printed a coupon from coupons.com Now you can get two cans for $1 each. If you have more coupons you can get more (as long as the store and coupon limits allow) In this way you could get 7 cans of shave cream for the price of 2 regularly. Then you store them and don’t have to buy shave cream for a year…or however long it lasts you. You do this with multiple items as you see deals throughout the year then you start to really see the savings. Eventually, once you have a good stockpile going, you’re basically shopping your own stockpile.

Re-evaluating your grocery list can help too. Consider buying store brand instead of name brand if you don’t have coupons. Look for budget friendly meal recipes and plan your grocery list accordingly. Consider cutting back on junk food. It’s ok to have a favorite brand but being flexible can really help save money.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinion expressed is my own.


Beauty Tips On A College Budget

Living on a college budget is going to be difficult in pretty much every area of life (hence the ramen stereotype).
That said, budgeting living is no reason to drop the ball on your beauty routines. After all, confidence is a huge part of success, so looking your best will help you to feel and perform your best as well!
Here are some tips for maintaining those beauty goals while on a tight college budget.


Question the Price Behind Branding
There is a balance to be struck between cutting corners to lower costs and inflating prices because of aesthetics.
Of course, you don’t want to only choose the lowest prices with everything you buy, particularly when it comes to beauty. Sure, 99 cent shampoo costs virtually nothing and will last about as long as luxury brands, but it will also damage your hair.
That said, many brands and ventures are able to hide behind presentation as they upcharge you. Make sure you aren’t just paying for advertising and aesthetic, because there is almost definitely going to be a cheaper alternative that offers the same quality.

The best way to do this is to search for reasonably priced ventures and products and then looking for the specifics (this may take a little research).
For instance, know what ingredients you should be looking for (or avoiding) in your regular skincare, hair and other beauty products. For ventures like med spas, research the specific treatments you are looking for so you know how to narrow down your options based on service,
knowledge and testimonials rather than biased advertising.


Make a Spa at Home
Facials, luxurious baths, mani-pedis and other relaxing treatments don’t have to be found at day spas – they can be found right in your own home!

Even if you live in a small apartment or dorm with several roommates, it’s more than possible to set up a relaxing self-care station for yourself. All you need to do is set aside a specific block of time and stock up on any necessary materials like nail polish, face masks, wax or any other treatments that interest you.


If you are looking for some DIY fun, you could even make your own facials, scrubs, bath bombs and plenty of other spa-day must-haves. The important thing to remember is that this is your time, so structure it however you want and maybe even put together a playlist to really get yourself in the mood for some pampering.
Best of all, since you are doing all of it yourself, you will be paying a fraction of the price that it would cost to go to a professional. A good rule of thumb is that if you can do it yourself, it could be fun (and economical) to try!


Take Advantage of Free Consultations and Offers
For the things you just can’t do at home (medical procedures, professional insight, etc.), make sure you are taking advantage of special offers and free consultations so that you are getting the best deals and service possible.
Luckily, for ventures like med spas or dermatologists, most places will offer those consultations to help evaluate your specific situation and give you invaluable advice.
By taking advantage of things like this, you will make sure that you aren’t wasting money on the services you are saving up for. After all, for more significant needs, it may take some time and planning to pay for it with a college budget.

Dr. Sarah Bennett, a naturopathic doctor in Scottsdale with a med spa of her own, pushes her free consultations more than anything:
“I always try to get those brief meetings with potential clients for a number of reasons. Firstly, it makes it possible to determine whether we make a good match or whether I can help direct them to more appropriate assistance. Secondly, it gives me the chance to really evaluate the individual and give professional advice on treatments and solutions. Lastly, though, I can really
work with the person and their specific situation so that we can be honest about the “less fun” matters like money and availability. That way, I can really work with them and help them get the services they need on the budget they have.”
Since most places will have special deals or, at the very least, free consultations, you can probably rule out any ventures that don’t as an easy process of elimination.
After you’ve done that, feel free to book some of those consultations to get advice on how to proceed with your financial and personal situation.


In Summary
No one likes budget planning, especially when they are tight on cash and have academic responsibilities that make it harder to boost income.
That’s no reason to let your self-care and beauty routine take a backseat, though. By questioning the branding of your products and services, doing all that you can do yourself at home and taking advantage of special offers and free consultations, you’ll be able to keep up with your appearance and maintain your confidence.
For more great articles on budgeting, be sure to look through our other posts!

About the Author

Katherine (Tori) Lutz is a graduate of Florida State University and current student at Columbia University. Professional, she is a writer and editor with a great deal of freelance experience surrounding articles, marketing, and other various areas. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and hopes to one day be a journalist.


2019 Credit Rewards Report from Wallethub

When searching for the best credit card for you, it can be hard to decide. Do you want to earn points or do you want to earn airline miles. This one over here does both but the APR is a lot higher. Plus, so many companies offer so many different types of credit cards it’s hard to even know all your options.

Wallethub did their 2019 Credit Rewards Report to help. Here’s what they found out:

  • Earning Potential: The best rewards card can yield up to $1,243 more than the worst rewards card over the first two years.
     
  • Best Issuer: Capital One has the best credit card rewards program for the fifth consecutive year, earning an average WalletHub score of 91%.
     
  • Strategic Redemption: Redeeming for travel is the best deal, yielding 21% more value than redeeming for merchandise, the worst option.
     
  • Earning Policies: Capital One leads the way with no earnings limits and rewards that neither expire nor are forfeited if you miss a payment.
     
  • Eligibility & Transparency: Barclays, Navy Federal Credit Union, and BECU set the clearest expectations by stating rewards terms and restrictions upfront.
     
  • Favorite Currency: 74% of people think cash back is the best kind of credit card rewards.
     
  • Best Initial Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (~$1,546 in net 2-year rewards)
     
  • Best Cash Back: Alliant CU Visa® Signature Card (~$1,702 in net 2-year rewards)
     
  • Best Travel Rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card(~$2,068 in net 2-year rewards)

Going Into Debt For Vacation? Wallethub’s Latest Survey

We all need a vacation. Some people seem like the live to travel but is it worth going into debt for? With the proper planning you don’t have to go into debt. In fact I wrote a post about 5 Ways To Save For Summer Vacation the beginning of the year.

Going into debt or even getting behind on bills to go on vacation doesn’t make your vacation very relaxing. Especially knowing when you come back you have to figure out how to catch up.

According to Wallethub’s latest survey though, 48 million Americans would skip a credit card payment over skipping vacation. According to their latest financial survey:

Key Findings:

  • 19% of people would skip a credit card payment over a vacation.
     
  • 29% of people say travel usually gets them into debt.
     
  • 32% of people are scared to fly this summer because of the Boeing airplane issues.
     
  • Travelers are more than twice as likely to worry about money than terrorism.
     
  • 46% of people think about post-vacation credit card bills while on vacation.
     
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card is the best credit card for summer travel because it offers an initial bonus worth $700 in travel for spending $5,000 in the first 90 days.
     
  • Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees save international travelers an average of 9.3% versus airport kiosks and 7.1% compared to local banks.

Survey: 48 Million Would Skip a Credit Card Payment Over a Vacation

It’s been a long year, and Americans need some summer travel to decompress. Just ask the 48 million people who say they’d rather skip a credit card payment than a vacation, according to a new survey by the personal-finance website WalletHub. That’s roughly 1 in 5 Americans who are willing to trade in the grace period on their credit card and pay sky-high interest rates just to get away for a while. The question is, does this display good common sense or bad money management?

“Well, we know from research that a vacation usually has a very positive impact on the body and mind – and can often make us more productive when we return to the office,” Simon Hudson, endowed chair in tourism and economic development at the University of South Carolina, told WalletHub. “So paying off that credit card after a vacation may not take too long!”

Still, it’s better to avoid putting ourselves in such a predicament. And there are indeed ways to enjoy the fruits of a vacation without the financial jeopardy. “My advice is to do everything in moderation and find a happy balance,” said Audrey Guskey, a professor of marketing at Duquense University. “Take the vacation. Take the time off, but keep the debt down by finding a cheaper alternative for your vacation plans. Stay closer to home. Find cheaper hotels or Airbnb. Travel at off peak times.” There may be even more reason to stay close to home this year, too.

Despite all of its relaxing properties, summer travel still weighs on the minds and wallets of millions of Americans in a variety of ways. We worry about everything from the weather to whether we’re flying in a new Boeing airplane. In fact, roughly one-third of people are scared to fly this summer because of Boeing’s recent issues.

“Obviously this was expected. However, travelers need to understand that those planes are not flying yet, and Boeing is addressing the problem before these planes will be back into service,” said Abraham Pizam, dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. “The U.S. federal authorities (FAA) and similar authorities in Europe and other countries are also much more careful in certifying the planes after the new modifications will be put in place.”

Money matters are actually more likely to put a damper on summer fun. And that can happen leading up to a vacation, while you’re away, or after you get back. Travelers are more than twice as likely to worry about money than terrorism, WalletHub’s survey found, and 46% of people think about post-vacation credit card bills while on vacation.

“Plan the vacation you can afford, and you won’t have to worry as much about the cost,” said Thomas P. Sweeney, an assistant professor of recreation and tourism management at Georgia Southern University. “Your vacation should be a time to relax, recharge, and have a good time. If you’re worrying about your bills, chances are you’ve overextended yourself financially. Before you plan anything, put together a realistic budget and stick to it.”

What we spend on vacation doesn’t stay on vacation, after all. It can come back to haunt us if we’re not careful, and too few of us are. Just ask the nearly 1 in 3 people who say travel usually gets them into debt. Or, better yet, ask what they’re doing wrong.

“They are not planning,” said Russ McCullough, chair of the economics department at Ottawa University. “Before committing to a trip, spend five minutes sketching out the expenses you will incur. If you don’t have money, find some ways to make enough before you go.”

There are many ways to make vacations more affordable, from turning them into staycations to getting a little help from your payment method. For example, applying for the right rewards credit card offer could get you $500 or more in free travel. And taking steps now to save later will really pay off.

“The better you plan financially the less stress you have about spending the money,” advises Stephen Barth, professor of hospitality law at the University of Houston.


5 Budgeting Tips for Living in Florida

Summer is coming up, so it’s no surprise if you are looking to save some extra money for a
vacation or simply looking to enjoy the season without financial strain.
Living in Florida, this can be a little tricky considering the inflated prices in wealthier or more
tourist-heavy areas.
To help keep your wallet from emptying, here are five great tips to budget well and save some
extra cash while living in Florida.

Publix Coupons
While Publix may not always have the cheaper options compared to places like Walmart, Trader
Joe’s or other on-a-budget grocery choices, knowing how to work their coupons can make a big
difference (and allow you to enjoy the Publix experience).

One of the most effective and modern ways to do this is to download the app where you can
plan your shopping trips ahead, browse coupons for inspiration, manage prescriptions and even
order online.
While the best part of downloading the app is giving yourself the ability to browse coupons and
deals at the tip of your fingers, the other features are a fantastic bonus.
Plus, Publix has new deals every week that can help you save money, and the way they
structure their shopping experience helps to give you a lot of inspiration on meals for the week
so that you can further plan things out according to your finances.

Beauty on a Budget
Summer is approaching, and it’s completely normal to want to start looking into beauty
treatments and options to get you feeling beach-ready.
For common skincare and spa treatments, you can save money on this by doing it at home and
avoiding high prices at salons and day spas.
For more complicated treatments that may require doctors or medical spas (laser hair removal,
vein treatment, etc.), you might have to put a little more effort into researching the places by
you.
The good news is that at this particular time of year, most medical professionals are really
pushing to bring in new clients since we are approaching swimsuit season, so it’s definitely
possible to browse available coupons on deals.
The most important thing to remember is that any form of beauty treatment is really about
feeling healthy and confident in the skin you’re in, so take a moment to really reflect on what
might help bring you closer to that and narrow down your options from there.

Vacation for Less

One of the perks about living in Florida is that you get “Florida
Resident” discounts on most theme park options, giving you a
range of choices for your next vacation.
Instead of splurging on expensive cruises or out-of-state
adventures, plan your vacations right at home and think ahead to
further save money.
Buying tickets ahead of time online, planning vacations for less
popular months like February or September, packing your own

meals and making sure to check out free attractions are all great ways to further make the most
of your experience.
Plus, you can have even more fun by investing in multi-day passes for most of the theme parks
to spend less on each individual day (especially if you were planning on a full week or weekend
anyway).
Above all, make sure you stock up on gas far away from places like airports or theme parks as
you plan out your road trip – these will have exorbitant prices in comparison to other locations.

Be Smart About Housing
If you don’t already have a permanent residence in Florida (or you are looking to move soon),
considering the location of your home can save you BIG bucks in the long run.
Living in downtown areas, picking locations close to the water or living in big-name cities can
cause your rent to skyrocket.
While the location will affect rent in any state, the range of prices is extreme in Florida. For
instance, if you are looking to live in the Miami area, you will pay a great deal more to live in a
suburb like Coral Gables or in Downtown Brickell than in areas that are even just a few blocks
away in some instances.
Definitely do your research beforehand and consider choosing cities that are on the outskirts of
bigger areas and that won’t have extremely high pricing.
After all, you will likely still be able to enjoy all of the same great things that Florida has to offer
without living smack in the middle of it (plus, it may even be a little less crowded).

Avoid Shopping in Those Expensive Areas
As mentioned, the cost of living can fluctuate wildly between different areas in Florida, and this
doesn’t only apply to housing.
One of the biggest things to remember about Florida is that it is a tourist state, so many places
(Miami, Destin, Tampa, Orlando, etc.) will have inflated prices to take advantage of that.
In some instances, gratuity will even be included on tabs, so you will have less control over that
part of bills and also will need to be careful about accidentally double-tipping.
Ultimately, you should try your best to avoid shopping, dining, stocking up on gas and generally
spending money in these more tourist-heavy areas so that you can avoid paying these tourist
prices.

By just enjoying all of your leisure activities in surrounding areas or generally less pricey
neighborhoods, you will realize that your financial stresses will decrease immensely.

In Summary
Everyone wants to save money, even in places like Florida that can have a wide range in terms
of cost of living.
By just remembering these five tips, you should have some extra spending money in your
pocket this summer:
● Become a Publix coupon expert
● Spend wisely on beauty treatments
● Save money on vacationing
● Choose a low-cost housing option
● Don’t shop in tourist-heavy areas
For more great budgeting tips to help you save money, be sure to check out our other fantastic
posts!

About Our Guest Writer

Katherine (Tori) Lutz is a graduate of Florida State University and current student at Columbia University. Professional, she is a writer and editor with a great deal of freelance experience surrounding articles, marketing, and other various areas. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and hopes to one day be a journalist.