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.

My Rules For Buying Refurbished Electronics

Listen, I’ve been disappointed by refurbished products before. I remember one time I bought a “refurbished” GPS navigator on ebay. The price was amazing (like too good to be true amazing) so I thought, well I need a GPS I’ll give it a go. I got my device. I charged it and it turned on immediately. I thought, great, I really did get a deal. But it would never pick up my location. When I tried to contact the seller I got the run around and eventually nothing in the end. I contacted the manufacturer and they told me from the sounds of it I bought a defective product. I was never able to actually use it.

Finding the right refurbished electronics

Another time I decided to buy 2nd hand Nintendo DSs for my boys for Christmas (I couldn’t afford to buy them both brand new ones at the time) It still wasn’t that cheap but much cheaper than buying them new. I bought them at a popular store known for video games. Well I decided when I got home I was going to check them out make sure they were in good working order before I wrapped them to give them to my kids as their “big Christmas gift”. I was so glad I did. The one system wouldn’t even turn on after charging. The other had some kind of orange gunk all over it including in the crevices. It looked like someone was eating Cheetos and never washed their hands. I was so upset, but also thankful, I had the foresight to check it before wrapping them and my kids opening the Christmas morning only to be disappointed. I took them right back to the store and told them how disappointed I was. They took them back and I ended up buying brand new ones for my boys anyway because I didn’t trust to buy used ones from them anymore.

It was years before I was willing to roll the dice on another 2nd hand or refurbished electronic item. That is until I started following these rules for buying electronics that aren’t new:

  • Does the store or site offer some type of return policy? If they don’t offer one at all I don’t buy. If they offer one but only under weird circumstances or an unreasonably short period of time, I don’t buy.
  • Does the store or site offer a warranty on refurbished, open box, or used items? In my opinion, if a site is confident in their skills to refurbish an electronic item, or is confident in the sellers on their site they’ll offer some type of warranty. Anything: 14 days, 30 days, 90 days, give me something!
  • Buy from trusted sites and sellers: I will no longer buy refurbished electronic from Joe Schmo on ebay UNLESS this Joe Schmo has credentials, high positive feedback and lots of sales to back it up. I’m more confident in buying from places that specialize in electronics like Best Buy, DealScoop, Staples, etc.
  • If it sounds too good too be true it probably is
  • What is their definition of “refurbished”? Do they actually check it? Look at it? Fix it? Or do they just throw it in a box and say “sold as-is”. If it has some issues are they forward about it?

Why DealScoop?

I mentioned DealScoop. Some of you might be thinking “I’ve never heard of DealScoop. Why should I trust them?” That was my thought. I investigated their site before I ever agreed to work with them. They follow my rules for buying refurb products. They had a lot of positive reviews on the site. DealScoop has a grading system for their refurbished products so you can choose the best product for your needs. “A grade” means it’s a new product. The box has been open but the product has never been used. “B grade” is refurbished but like-new. There may be some minor cosmetic flaws but should work like new. 90% of DealScoop’s products are B grade. C grade products will have more noticeable flaws or scratches but should still work like new, according to the DealScoop site. If for some reason a product is missing a part, flawed, etc they will state this in the description.

I received a refurbished HP Envy Photo 7855 printer. Which is perfect because my older boys got laptops for Christmas for school work and we needed a printer for their laptops. The item arrived quickly. It was packaged well and had all the parts to it including printer ink! I honestly thought I’d have to buy printer ink for a refurb printer.

My 15 year old son was able to set it up and start using it immediately. As you can see, the test print went well. I showed him how to use the copier on the top. The touch screen was very responsive. It made a perfect copy as well.

We examined the scanner top and it looked like brand new. No noticeable flaws or cracks anywhere on the printer. This printer has wifi capability too. Perfect for both my boys to be able to print from both of their laptops. The wifi works, we tested that too.

I would absolutely consider DealScoop the next time I need a new electronic item. I could not have asked the is printer to be any better. If they would have told me it was brand new (which they didn’t) I would have totally believed them.

DealScoop wants to offer Luv Saving Money readers 10% off your purchase at DealScoop.com with code: LUVSAVINGMONEY or you can go through my Dealspotr Influencer link: https://dealspotr.com/getcode/WwJ8B

I received the above mentioned product at no cost in order to complete this post. Any opinions expressed are 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.

New Teen Driver? How To Save On Car Insurance

When my oldest son got his permit we started talking to our insurance agent about how much it was going to cost when it was time to add him to our insurance. Our insurance was already pretty high and when they told us it would double, well we started looking around for ways to save.

We talked to two different insurance brokers who told us the insurance company we’ve had for years is one of the most expensive ones out there if not the most expensive one. So we got a few quotes through the broker and did some on our own and found out that almost any one we went with was going to be cheaper. But there were a few that gave better rates for new drivers.

By just doing that we were able to save $1000 when adding our oldest son to our policy. We’re now paying as much with my 16 year old son added to our policy as we were with my my husband and I with the old company!

Find out what else you can do to save money on insurance with a new teen driver in the post I wrote for Quigley car dealership: New Teen Driver Insurance

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.