Monday, April 28, 2008

How to Save Money using Coupons when Grocery Shopping for Food

Oprah’s last Debt Diet show on March 24th, discussed how two families are coping with budgeting and learning to eat at home. One of the families had spent $29,000 last year eating out for all of their meals. While many of us do find our way in the kitchens more often than that there are things we can do to help keep our grocery food bill low.

One way that most of us know about is using coupons. Coupon clipping can be an amazing money saving technique. It takes organization to really save substantially with coupons. If you are serious about coupon clipping you will learn what Sunday papers have the most coupon inserts. Usually just before a holiday the coupon section is stocked full of good coupons. It can really pay to buy multiple newspapers for the coupons if you having savings on your mind.

When you clip the coupons you will need to have them organized based on the store isle layouts. You should purchase a mini expanding file folder to organize your coupons. Put paper clips on the coupons to group them even further. That way when you are in that section of the store you will be able to scan your coupons and match sale items without a lot of stress.

Usually it pays best for coupons in stores that have double coupon pay outs. These stores are on average more expensive to shop at if you are not using coupons. If you watch for the sales in the mail for the grocery stores you could preplan what items to pick up before even entering the store. This could save a bunch of time.

The reason for the duplicate coupons is that when you get one item free with double coupon, wouldn’t you want more than one for free or almost free? I remember one time getting a large size applesauce for free; it was due to the double coupons. It does add up, but it also takes more time to shop when coupons are in mind. If you have a baby it can pay to clip the coupons for the baby food. It is something that you will need a lot of and if you are not willing to make all the pureed food it will save you a lot of money.

Not all coupons are great coupons, and you will learn which coupons are good ones as well as the not so good ones. If you have favorite foods that you can’t live without then you might find some great coupons to help offset the cost.

Coupons expire so you need to be ready to get rid of the expired ones. Usually when you put in the new coupons it is a good time to get rid of the old outdated ones. You can also trade coupons with friends and also online as well. There are coupons you can print off of the internet as well. In the store those coupon dispensers that are all around the store can have some good discounts. There are also sometimes excellent coupons in the store’s flyer for the week. If you don’t get one in the mail they usually put them at the front of the store.

Learn to read the fine print on the coupons. Sometimes coupons are difficult to understand. There are so many different flavors, and sizes. Watch for coupons that specifically state the flavor and size. If you don’t get the right size or flavor you won’t get the discount for the item. Grocery stores sometimes put the non-coupon items that would be mistaken for the coupon item at the end caps of the store isles. It is common for sale items to go on the end caps. Make sure you read the coupon.

Even better than coupons is making your food from whole foods and avoid buying pre-made kits and ready to go food. But this also takes time too. If you invest in a large freezer it can help to store your homemade foods for ready to go meals for your family.

I used to do the coupon clipping until the kids out numbered my husband and I. This got us to join a wholesale club to buy food in bulk. It is not always a deal at these stores, but if you know what to look for you can save a lot of money this way as well. You won’t be able to get everything at these stores. It is a good idea to keep on with the coupon clipping at the regular grocery store as well to fill in where the wholesale club missed.

With young children it can be frustrating to clip coupons. It is helpful to either have your husband come along with to help or to leave the kids at home or school when you go to the grocery store. It is worth a try if you haven’t clipped coupons it can be rewarding to see how much you can save. You will be amazed how much coupons can discount the cost of food.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Grocery Shoppers Need Protection from Germ-infested Shopping Cart Handles to Avoid Illnesses and Dis

Monroe, Mich. -- Health-conscious shoppers can now stay healthy thanks to the invention of The Healthy Handle.

The Healthy Handle slips over the handle on shopping carts to protect users from exposure to germs, viruses, bacteria and other contaminants, according to inventor Al Dandy of Dandy Enterprises LLC.

The fact that shopping carts are contaminated is real, and they are a major contributor to a huge public health problem,” Dandy said.

It is not uncommon to see customers sneeze or cough into their hands, then go back to pushing a shopping cart. Young children drool, and teething babies bite on the handles -- even when under the watchful eye of a parent. Such practices lead to the spread of illnesses.

In recent studies, shopping cart handles tested positive for bodily fluids such as, blood, saliva, mucus, and even urine and fecal matter. Not only common sense, but scientific research has proven the danger of spreading illness by hand contact with these and many other contaminates, according to Dandy.

Not only do we have to contend with existing illnesses, but because our borders are virtually gone, we now have to deal with new diseases and illnesses that follow the new cultures. Traditions and different beliefs, along with personal hygiene differences, bring new problems. We must not ignore the problem, but address it with common sense and effective aids,” Dandy said.

The idea for The Healthy Handle came when Dandy’s wife cut her hand on a broken piece of plastic on a shopping cart handle.

There’s got to be a way that people can be protected while using a shopping cart,” she told him. And he set out to do just that.

The Healthy Handle, built to fit all shopping cart handles, is easy to use and dishwasher safe. It can be applied and removed without touching the shopping cart handle itself. It takes protection a step further than antibacterial wipes, he said.

After extensive research, it didn’t take long to understand that there is no one way to eliminate the contamination using chemicals that could be used safely by humans,” Dandy explained. “I’m talking about total elimination of contamination, not just certain bacteria or viruses.”

There is no wipe or spray that will eliminate all the many forms of contamination on a shopping cart handle, according to Dandy.

The Healthy Handle, constructed of materials that resist contamination, provides a barrier of protection between the shopper and the cart handle, preventing spread of viruses or bacteria, Dandy said. It is re-usable, practical and discreet.


Friday, April 25, 2008

5 Crucial Tips When Shopping for Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

In today’s market low interest rate credit cards are easily found online, in the mail and at your local bank. There really isn’t a difference where you decide to shop for your new credit card most places offer the same deals from the same card issuers. However, there are definitely some features you need to be aware of and avoid if possible. I have listed the most crucial points to be aware of when shopping for low interest rate credit cards, they are as follows:

Universal Default – Universal default is a buried clause in the fine print of almost all low interest rate credit cards. It basically says that if you are late on payments they can jack up your rates at will. The scary part is that they can use your payment history from other accounts to enact the clause. Say for instance if you co-signed for a car with someone and he misses a payment you can be penalized, harshly. Interest rates can nearly triple when this clause is enacted.

Payment Grace Periods – It used to be that consumers had a full 30 days to pay their balances before the credit card company started charging interest. This isn’t true anymore. In fact the average grace period is about 22 days now. Even the low interest rate credit cards are practicing the shortened grace period. Some of your credit cards designed for bad credit do not have a grace period at all! Always find out what your grace period is.

Cash Advances – Be careful when you pull into that ATM to get some cash for the day. Most credit card companies have higher rates for cash advances than they do for purchases. The cash advance interest rates can be almost 30% when you consider the fees added for the transaction. Also, you must pay the cash advance back over and above your regular payment to get rid of the higher interest rate. There is rarely any grace period for cash advances either. We at Credit Card Banc strongly advise against taking cash advances from any credit card.

Two-Cycle Billing – This sneaky trick is usually buried in the fine print. Two cycle billing is when the credit card company will charge you interest based on the on the average balance carried on the card, not the actual balance. Say for instance if we charge $1000 on the card in January with the intention to the balance off completely by March in two $500 payments. Let’s assume your interest rate is 10%, which makes your interest $100. February's you make a $500 dollar payment leaving a $500 balance. Your Interest on this balance is $50.00. Not so with two cycle billing. The card company will average the balances which is $750. Your interest due is now $75 not fifty. Look out for this trick when comparing low interest rate credit cards.

Fees, Fees and more Fees - A lot of market low interest rate credit cards will charge a hefty fee to cover their expenses. This is because most people that can qualify for a market low interest rate credit card pay their balances in full each month. If the rate on the card is low enough I really do not mind a reasonable annual fee, the call is yours. However what about the other fees? Account set up fees, monthly fees, over the limit fees, late fees, additional card fees and a host of other fees. Honestly look at your spending and payment habits and the possible fees you might incur. It could make the difference between a good deal and a bad one.

In closing, I can’t stress enough that you need to read the fine print! Look at the fees, look at the billing cycles and compare all of these variables with your spending and payment habits. If you carry a balance on your card often and always pay your bills at the end of the month it may benefit to take a slightly higher interest rate in lieu of a better billing cycle and lower late fees.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Understanding Online Shopping

Are you afraid of ordering items online? Read this article to learn about what security measures are in place to keep your information protected and what you can do to help.

Have you ever thought twice before using your credit card in an online store? Shopping sites, banking sites, even sites for the lovelorn say they are secure, but what does that mean, really? Can't your credit card number or social security number or grandchild's name be hijacked as they whiz through the Internet from your browser to the remote site's servers? And if it is really secure, how do you know?

To tell you the truth, I do a lot of shopping on the Internet and haven't had any security problems. I've bought books, software, flowers, gifts, ink and labels for my printer, blank CDs and DVDs and services. I even paid for the Lansing Star's logo over the Web. Why get jostled at the mall when you can have things delivered to the comfort of your own home?

The key to Internet security is Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer, or HTTPS. Regular Web pages use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and that's why their Web addresses start with "http://." HTTP sends plain text, readable by anyone.

If you have shopped on the Internet you may have noticed that when you get to the part of an online store that actually takes your order that Web address prefix changes to "https://." So the regular address may be something like and the order taking page might be

HTTPS depends on two things: it needs your Web browser to have secure capabilities (virtually all modern browsers do) and it needs the Web store you are visiting to have the same capabilities. When your browser sees that it is visiting a secure site, it sends your requests and information using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) in encrypted form, instead of just plain text. The secure Web site knows how to decrypt your information once it gets there.

The Web site must have an SSL Certificate on its server. This is a unique file that allows your browser to authenticate that the Web site it is communicating with is actually the one you think you are communicating with. There are a few different vendors of these certificates, and they must be renewed annually by the site owner.

Another clue that you are on a secure site is that some browsers have a little symbol that appears when it is securely connected. For example, Internet Explorer shows a little yellow padlock in the lower status bar. Opera shows a gray padlock right next to the Web address. Firefox and Mozilla show it in the lower right corner. Netscape shows the padlock in the lower left.

That's what goes on under the hood, but there are some things you should do to be sure you are not sending your personal information to a secure site that is run by thugs.

* Always type the address of sites you trust. Don't click on addresses sent to you in e-mail. Bad guys sometimes send official looking letters with a link that looks OK, but actually goes to a clone site instead of the real one.
* Only deal with sites you trust. is trustworthy. probably isn't.
* Check the Web site to see if there is an address and telephone number. If you are still nervous about ordering over the Web you might be able to phone in your order.
* Only deal with reputable companies. You wouldn't hand over your credit card in a storefront called "Sleazebag Emporium" so why would you do it in a questionable Web store?

Online shopping can be very convenient. With SSL technology to keep your personal information safe it can be a pleasant experience to have your purchase simply show up at your door.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Online Christmas shopping: some tips shop online in Christmas time

When Christmas occurs shopping is no longer restricted to the local shopping center or an annual directory that happens to find its way into your mailbox. That time we need to advanced technology, there is exactly a whole world of shopping at your fingertips. Through internet we can shop on various stores and can see and can do comparison of various products, in addition, which better way to do Christmas shopping than from the comfort of your own home. As we know store situation is to be busy and confused.

Now days many stores have becoming virtual, as shopping cart you can fill with imagery of a product and checkout could be on any product by confirming your order. Every thing has changed in the past years and I speculate how much person can not imagine the convenient of shopping on the internet. There are some tips for online Christmas shopping, which can construct the understanding a soft and nice one.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #1: Be prepared when Christmas occurs
Whenever you are going to start online Christmas shopping then be prepared to take advantage of sale, discount and other schemes on the products. Some stores provide free shipping charges on the products; this offer is to be beneficial for those customers which reside very far from store.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #2: Shop early
When Christmas occurs many peoples do not know when to start shopping for Christmas they start his shop when Christmas to be 3 to 4 days to remain, this comes to you Sold Out problem, so start your shopping early at least 3 to 4 weeks ago, start early shopping you can choose and compare various products according to your choice. Many online stores collect there products in stock 2 months ago of starting Christmas.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #3: do you Christmas shopping Safe
Whenever you are ordering anything online, check the product reviews if available with that product. Shop always on secured websites; because you do not know how can steal your personal and financial data when you shop on non-secured website.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #4: Wrapping your gifts
Most people have not a lot of extra time in the holiday’s seasons. If you want to save your some time on wrapping your gifts, most online stores provide and offer a gift wrapping services in a small fee. At order processing time some online stores may be asked if you would like to add gift wrapping and name tag then just the click of a button, which is much easier than trying to attach the perfect curtsy.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #5: Be careful your product delivery dates
Whenever you are placing an order then is careful that product is available in store and they can deliver in the time of Christmas. Also read the shipping policy and delivery time for in in-stock items.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #6: Christmas Greeting Cards
When you complete preparation of Christmas then its easy to forgot one thing which is very important for your families, friends and that is sending traditional Christmas cards for all your family and your friends, this time many stores provide free and paid, services
that send both digital and tradition paper Christmas cards.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Online Shopping: The next Big Thing in India

Online shopping is attracting more and more people because of its time saving factor. There are numerous of websites that can help you in meeting your daily requirements. It’s convenient easy and time saving.

Online Shopping in India is on a high these days. Be it any product, small or big, expensive or cheap, it's all available on the internet. This craze is increasing day by day and have virtually multiplied the online sales figures in the recent past. At the end of the day, the consumer is the winner of the fierce competitive world of online sales. Online shopping is nothing but browsing the Internet by goggling the key words of your product you want to buy. It's easy and the World Wide Web has made it even easier. It is a chain that's keeps repeating itself in all forms of profit making business.

Now that the retail market is on boom, the internet is browsed more often than not, and people are aware of the famous brands, which leads to extreme competition. This has actually forced the market to lower prices and this leads to users changing their trustworthiness. A few days ago, what was something amazing is now not more than an option in the market. When it comes to buying and selling, people want it to be smooth and easy. It is like doing everything at the comfort of your home with the help of the internet. This trend is increasing in India. More and more people want to be the part of this virtual world.

The trend of online shopping in India is increasing because of the lack of time, fear of facing a traffic jam, weekend crowd, and overall the convenience to meet the daily requirements online is leading India to the virtual market. Online shopping was initially confined to the sale of books and music on the internet, but today the scenario has cut to a wider proposition. Here you can buy products ranging from a stereo system to an i-pod, Computers, Electronics items, Gifts, Home Appliances, Home Furnishing, Jewellery, Office Products, Personal Care products, Toys and Games and Travel packages among others.

There are specific portals for books, travel, music and mobiles. Not only are they ready to serve you 24 hours a day, but that too in a hassle free manner; the provision to do online payment ( through net banking, using credit ad debit cards) and cash-on-delivery have also contributed to the growth in demand.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hush!, Online Secret: Credit Cards for Everyone!

Credit cards popularity has increased over the last 20 years. There is a wide range of credit cards available out there and they are now accessible almost for everyone. There are unique cards that offer lots of benefits to the holders.

Some cards have small fees and offer a pack of rewards in exchange, but there are also cards with no fees, no charge for balance transfers and you’ll even find 0% interest rates offers for a period of time.

Wide range of Credit Cards: You can’t even begin to imagine how many options are out there. There is a huge variety of cards ranging from Business credit cards, Rewards credit cards, Low interest credit cards, Student credit cards, Airline Rewards credit cards, Sub-prime credit cards, Secured and unsecured credit cards and so on. There are so many options that sometimes it can become very difficult to choose a particular one or compare the options to see which one best suits your needs.

The credit card industry has grown outstandingly in the last decade, since the market keeps growing everyone wants a share and new companies continue to add options to the already crowded market. Also taking this into account long-established credit card providers are offering better terms on their traditional cards. Thus, the key to getting the right card for you is to get an organized comparison of what the market has to offer and see which credit card has the most advantageous terms. This is best done by searching online for sites comparing different type of credit cards. These sites will also let you apply for the cards online so you won’t even have to move from your home in order to get approved.

Shopping online: Overcoming common but unjustified fears, more and more people are shopping online. Online shopping has become safe and regular practice for young people who feel more comfortable shopping online than in regular stores. Credit cards have a lot to do with this new approach to shopping and you can easily notice that’s almost impossible to find an online store that doesn’t have credit cards as a payment option, furthermore in many cases it’s the only payment option available.

Most credit cards have a number of customer protection programs to make sure their clients are not victims of fraud or identity theft by the use of credit cards in online stores. Moreover, through some insurance policies, the credit card companies or their affiliate insurance companies take responsibility for frauds and unsuccessful transactions and compensate the client with a reimbursement.

Traveling Abroad: Credit cards have also become a reliable aid when traveling abroad. Paying with a credit card saves you from the trouble of exchanging currency and the dangers that this transaction implies when you don’t do it on a well known institution which are not easily found everywhere. Many Credit cards also offer medical aid when abroad and free emergency telephone calls. Also when lost or stolen you can easily cancel them to prevent them from being used by calling a toll-free telephone number. Since most credit card companies have offices all over the world, you can get personalized assistance everywhere and your cards can be replaced if stolen, lost or damaged.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Online Buyers - Save Money with Online Shopping Malls and Portals

The latest trend for shopping online is to use a portal, which would serve as an entrance to minor and major stores online. The difference between shopping at conventional shopping malls and shopping using portals would be that the latter offer cash back. It would be like strolling through a conventional shopping mall while receiving a coupon book from each store.

These shopping malls are able to offer their merchandise in virtually all categories and sub-categories. These categories would include music, arts, computers, accessories, home and garden, health and beauty, leisure and hobby and a lot more. Online shopping malls definitely make the shopping experience of the online buyer a breeze. It is a one-stop shop, which allows you to get your money back for every purchase you would be making. There are even stores that have monthly specials, as well as free merchandise and fee shipping.

Portal online shopping malls do require you to sign in, after which you would be allowed to shop at any store. This is so that they could keep track of the purchases you will be making so that you would be getting credit for them. Stores that are in this kind of mall usually offer cash backs that range from 1 to 40 percent.

A couple of examples would be if you would be going to a store like Target, you would get a cash back of 3 percent; or you could go to Golf Galaxy and also get a cash back of 3 percent; or go to Babies R Us and get a cash back of 3.5%. There are so many online stores with various categories that you can choose from, so you would certainly be able to find a great deal on something that would interest you, on any of these online shopping stores.

Online shopping malls and portals truly offer great shopping options to save a lot of money.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Top 5 Tips for Online Shopping

Shopping online is something that is becoming increasingly popular. Every day more people are coming online from around the world to complete purchases. With such an increase in overall online spend, it is important that you know exactly what you should be looking out for when shopping online. Although the costs of online goods can be much less, especially as a result of fewer overheads for retailers, it is important that you are a savvy online shopper if you want to ensure you remain safe and get a good deal.

1. Credit Card v Debit Card

When shopping online it is much safer to use your credit card than your debit card for online purchases. The reason for this is that when you use a credit card you can charge-back the merchant if you are not happy with the goods or service that you purchased. It is also important to use a credit card because of online fraud. If you are subject to fraud with your credit card then the credit card company will give you a refund whilst your bank will not in the case of your debit card.

2. Shop Around

When you are online it is surprising to find that only one company is selling the good or service that you are looking to buy. Because this is very rare it is a good idea to look in many online shops before finally making a purchase. When you are shopping around and looking at the different prices offered it is also important to consider any shipping costs that are associated with a transaction. It is often the case that these are over-looked according to published research.

3. Secure Payment Gateway

When shopping online it is important that you only enter your payment details via a secure payment gateway. In order to identify a secure payment gateway you should look in the address bar on the page where you are going to enter your payment details. If it reads https:// rather than http:// then it means that your data is being encrypted and as such will likely get to where it is supposed to. Please note that this does not apply throughout every page of the site, it only applies on the actual page that is being used to process payments.

4. Read the T and C

This may come as a shock to you, but you should always read the terms and conditions! Failing to read the terms and conditions may not seem too important at the time, but it certainly will retrospectively should anything go wrong. A savvy shopper will always recognize the importance of ensuring they know exactly what they are agreeing to.

5. Check for Contact Details

Should a website not have contact details such as address and telephone number then dealing with them is not a good choice. When you deal with a company and pay them money it is reasonable to assume you should be able to easily contact them when something goes wrong. If you cannot find anything other than an email address then don't give them your money!