Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com What goes up must come down, right? For some prices, yes. Money Talks News analyzed the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index data, which is for December 2019, to find out which things actually cost less going into 2020 than they did one year prior. Overall, the price of all things overall rose by 2.3% over the course of 2019... [...]
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My older sister, Brigette, shares her shopping trips and menu plans every week! You can go HERE to see all of her weekly menu plans and you can go HERE to read all about her family!
1 5-lb roll 73/27 Ground Beef – $9.95
1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89
1 pkg Uncured Turkey Franks – $2.09
1 2-lb bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $5.19
1 16-oz pkg Deli Meat – $2.85
1 8-oz pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.33
1 pkg American Cheese – $1.45
1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99
3 large cans Diced Organic Tomatoes – $4.77
2 cans Green Beans – $0.76
1 can Garbanzo Beans – $0.48
1 can Tomato Paste – $0.29
1 can Baking Powder – $0.99
1 Garlic Powder – $0.69
2 cans Chili Beans – $0.96
1 24-oz jar Pasta Sauce – $0.85
1 16-oz carton Heavy Whipping Cream – $1.55
1 gallon 1% Milk – $0.97
1/2 gallon Orange Juice- $1.64
1-lb box Butter Quarters – $2.61
1 large jar Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95
1 Cauliflower – $2.19
1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.79
1 2-lb bag Yellow Onions – $1.16
1 pkg Zucchini – $1.17
1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $2.39
2 pkgs Fresh Broccoli Crowns – $2.38
1 3-lb bag Mandarin Oranges – $2.29
1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.69
1 16-oz bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.19
1 bag Baby Carrots – $0.69
1 3-lb bag Pink Lady Apples – $3.69
1 bunch Bananas – $0.91
1 pkg Grape Tomatoes – $1.29
2 cartons Blueberries – $2.96
1 large canister Quick Oats – $2.36
1 box Raisin Bran – $1.59
1 Family-Size box Honey Nut Oats – $2.45
1 bag Pretzels – $0.82
1 bag Gluten-Free Pretzels – $1.85
1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.67
1 pkg Plain Rice Cakes – $1.45
2 dozen Eggs – $1.76
Grocery Total for the Week: $87.99
Weekly Menu Plan
Lazy Monkey Bread (Birthday Breakfast Request from my 9-yr old – I completely forgot to buy the canned biscuits for this recipe! I’ll either be making a quick trip back to the store, or experimenting with homemade biscuit dough.)
Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:
Oatmeal, Cereal, Smoothies, Fried/Scrambled/Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Fruit, Toast
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Blueberries, Carrots (Birthday Lunch Request)
Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter, Cheese Sticks, Oranges, Cucumbers x 2
Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Apples, Mini Peppers
Leftovers x 3
Pakistani Kima over Rice (recipe from “More With Less” Cookbook), Make-Ahead Butterhorns, Cauliflower, Ice Cream Cake (Birthday Dinner Request)
Pancakes, Turkey Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Blueberries
Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli
Chili with Shredded Cheese, Corn Muffins
Hot Dogs on Homemade Buns, Baked French Fries, Broccoli
Date Night (kids eat leftovers at home)
Taco Salad, Mexican Rice, Roasted Zucchini [...]
When I was a kid, I was a big reader. Sorry — I meant to say “nerd.”
I was a huge nerd and didn’t care about sports.
Still, I watched the Green Bay Packers play every Sunday, because that’s what we did in my house. I just usually had a book open at the same time.
Because of that ritual, the sound of a football game on TV is cathartic for me. I’d rather turn on the NFL Network than listen to a white noise app when I want to get work done.
That’s why I’ll still tune into Super Bowl LIV. I enjoy the connection to the rest of the nation — while knocking out a blog post and making headway through a novel.
If you’re in the same boat, use the day to make some extra money. Just make sure you take a break and tune in for the Halftime Show, so you know what everyone’s talking about on Facebook on Monday.
While your family or roommates gather ‘round the TV this weekend, try some of these ways to make extra money.
8 Ways to Make Money During the Super Bowl
1. Drive With Lyft
If you haven’t already signed up as a driver with Lyft, now’s a good time to do it.
As a driver with Lyft, you can help Super Bowl party goers in your city safely get where they’re going and where they’re coming from. No driving drunk or walking in the cold!
Plus, the higher demand before and after the game could mean a busy night and big bucks for you.
You keep a portion of everything you earn as a driver, plus 100% of your tips. High Lyft traffic means peak hours, which might mean more money for you.
Here’s a link to apply to drive with Lyft.
2. List Your Place or Spare Room
Look. We get it. Your home is your sanctuary. Your place to be alone. Some days, you don’t even want to have your own family over — let alone people you don’t know.
So, the idea of listing your place on Airbnb is daunting for a lot of folks.
Use Airbnb’s price calculator to see how much money you could make in your area.
Tonya Peters’ husband, Miles Rugh, was one of those skeptics.
She wanted to list their Virginia Village basement apartment in Denver, Colorado, on Airbnb, but he wasn’t keen on welcoming strangers into their place.
Finally, though, he agreed to give it a try. Now, three years later, the couple has hosted too many guests to count. And the extra income has been great for them. They plan to use it for some home renovations they’ve been wanting.
“He’s definitely changed his tune,” says Peters, now an Airbnb Superhost. “And he loves having the extra income.”
(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)
3. Take Stock Photos
People dressed in their favorite team’s jersey and faces painted in celebration make for great photographs.
Take advantage of the crowds of fans in your town to get some candid shots you can sell to stock photo sites.
You don’t even have to give up your own fun to fill your stock photo arsenal. You can sell your smartphone photos via Foap, so don’t worry about keeping track of expensive equipment all afternoon. (Just keep your phone out of the toilet.)
Note: Building owners or managers reserve the right to ask you not to take photos on their property. Otherwise, snap away, and make sure you understand whether your intended use of the photograph will require a model or property release.
Want to hang out with the nerdy kids like me, who don’t want to pay attention to the game?
Offer to take them off their parents’ hands for the day.
Make game day easier for family and friends by offering to watch the little ones while they go out. You’ll get to make $20 to $40 and skip the loud parties.
Check out a site like Care.com to make yourself easy to find ahead of game day, and check out other tips on how to become a babysitter
5. Take Care of Pets
Pick up pet-sitting or dog-walking work to relieve football fans from the need to look after pets during time-outs.
If you can’t find pet-sitting gigs in your network, hop on DogVacay to connect with pet owners in your area.
6. Get Ahead on Freelance Work
Holidays — even faux holidays — are great for side hustlers. Unless you want to chat with your clients about football, your inbox and social media will probably be quiet on Super Bowl Sunday.
Take advantage of the radio silence to get some work done.
If you’re a freelance writer, check out these tips on how to land your first bylines. And sign up for this free seven-day mini-course from ProofreadAnywhere.com to learn how to become a professional proofreader.
Or, pick a passion project off the back burner. Work on a novel. Put the finishing touches on a painting. Format an ebook.
If you’re just kicking off your side hustle in 2020, read our guide to getting started as a freelancer.
7. Get the Best Gigs
If you haven’t, create an account with TaskRabbit.
Here’s the strategy for earning money: Find gigs you can complete quickly that pay well for the amount of time you put in.
With a lot of Taskers likely taking the day off, Super Bowl Sunday could be a great opportunity to get some of the best gigs.
FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM
Looking For Part-Time Job
1/30/20 @ 2:16 PM
Extra money on the side
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Gig Work Taking Property Photos in the US
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I have a question about those cash game apps from Google Play store?
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See more in Make Money or ask a money question
8. Get Paid $1,200/Year for Your Screen Time
We’ve all been there. Netflix drones in the background as you scroll Instagram. What are you even doing?
But there’s a website that will pay you for all that screen time.
Yep. Swagbucks will pay you in free gift cards for taking surveys and other activities right on your phone.
We know what you’re thinking: You’ll probably just earn a few pennies for your troubles. But we talked to one Swagbucks user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year.
And it’s no huge time commitment. Hendrickson takes her surveys in the morning before her full-time job.
Even better? You’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 points within your first 60 days.
Dana Sitar (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a former branded content editor at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
As cable subscription prices rise higher and higher and customer satisfaction ratings dive lower and lower, cutting the cable has never been more popular.
Sure, there are the usual big names in streaming services available for a monthly fee, but it’s possible to kick subscription fees entirely.
Luckily, there are more options than ever for replacing your traditional cable setup. Many free streaming services have stepped up to offer access to content overlooked by subscription-based services.
Of course, there are some rather shady options out there that stream pirated content. But there are plenty of free, legal streaming apps that provide no-strings-attached cable cutting solutions.
9 Free TV Apps That Will Help You Cut Cable
Check out these free TV apps that will help you cut the cord but still let you enjoy your favorite TV shows.
Crackle is one of the go-to names not just in free streaming but in streaming video in general. The cost-free service has a variety of content, ranging from classics like “Bewitched” and “All in the Family,” as well as the newer “Snatch” series. It also has hundreds of films from major studios.
For a free streaming service, Crackle’s library is truly impressive. Crackle even has a handful of original series to its name. Best of all, Crackle works on nearly all mobile devices, streaming boxes, and smart TVs.
2. Tubi TV
Tubi TV has deals with major studios like Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Lionsgate. It also features lots of foreign and independent productions.
Tubi TV’s library is updated regularly, and the service claims to add new content every week. The Tubi TV app works on Android and iOS devices, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Samsung Smart TVs and Amazon Fire TV.
To be honest, when I first heard of Tubi TV, I was skeptical because I always viewed apps like it as having the movies no one wanted to see. However, I was pleasantly surprised — the library is solid.
Since the service is ad-supported, you can expect to watch a couple minutes of ads every ten minutes or so. The experience is pretty similar to watching normal television.
3. Pluto TV
Pluto TV stands out in the free streaming crowd in that the service offers channels of linear content much like a cable package. There are dozens of movie channels, sports channels, news — and even some highly curated streams of niche content.
Pluto TV boasts a large list of supported devices including iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TVand Chromecast devices and Android TV.
Like Tubi TV, Pluto TV has advertisements. It’s pretty similar to the ad load of normal TV.
Streaming video isn’t always just about entertainment. For the more serious-minded cord-cutters out there, the NewsON app provides hundreds of local and national news streams.
Both live and on-demand news broadcasts can be streamed from over 275 local news affiliates in 160 markets. The broadcasts are available for up to 48 hours after they air.
Users can then select which news segments they want to watch from categories like sports, weather or entertainment. NewsON is compatible with iOS and Android phones and tablets, as well as Roku.
I find NewsOn particularly useful when I don’t want to deal with hooking up an antenna. As far as local programming is concerned, the news is really all I need.
FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM
What kind of store bought pizza is almost or as good as pizza chains?
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5. Funny Or Die
Funny or Die is without a doubt the go-to streaming app for comedy programming. Founded in 2007 by contemporary comedy giants Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, it has since grown to be a full-blown production house featuring original content from some of the biggest names in show business. It also has syndicated content In 2018, the platform began publishing on Vox Media’s Chorus and now uses the YouTube Player.
Content on the app must be streamed and cannot be downloaded.
As for my personal experience, I’ve honestly spent quite a bit of time laughing my butt off at the videos. Funny or Die is easy to use and great for finding new hilarious content.
6. PBS Kids
Kids need free streaming content, too. Luckily, PBS has a PBS Kids Video app that provides hundreds of hours of educational and enriching content just for the youngest members of any family. The app has a colorful, child-friendly interface, which makes it easy for kids to take control themselves.
Videos from many of PBS’s most popular series are available for streaming including “Curious George,” “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That” and “Sesame Street.” The PBS Kids app is supported for Android, Windows and iOS phones and tablets.
Anime and manga fans are likely already familiar with Crunchyroll. The sushi-inspired name stems from the fact that Crunchyroll specializes in mostly Japanese content, but it also features films and series from all over the world. Crunchyroll boasts a library of thousands of anime films and series, many of which are hard to find on other streaming services.
There is a paid premium feature, but the free Crunchyroll service has thousands of hours of popular series like the “Dragon Ball” franchise, “Attack on Titan,” “Naruto” and “One Piece.” The Crunchyroll app is supported by Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices, as well as by gaming consoles, Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku.
Crunchyroll is a great app for anyone with an interest in anime. Of course, when it comes to anime content, you have to be watchful with your younger children, as a lot of it is geared towards teens (and sometimes even adults).
For anyone with even a passing interest in gaming and esports, Twitch is the go-to free streaming service.
Twitch hosts user-created channels and streams focused on video games and other esports. It features a built-in chat feature, so users can chat with other streamers in real time.
While there are thousands of free streams, Twitch also features premium features for a monthly subscription. Twitch apps are compatible with PCs, iOS and Android devices, game consoles, Chromecast and Fire TV. While Twitch is popular with children, parents should beware: Twitch streams are somewhat unregulated and can sometimes contain adult language or content.
Yes, YouTube. No list of cost-free streaming video services would be complete without it. YouTube apps are compatible with just about every device out there that has a screen, and the service features videos to choose from on nearly any topic imaginable.
Most of those videos are not exactly premium content, but there are still plenty of full-length films, documentary series and curated channels that provide cost-free entertainment for the whole family.
While there are ways to download YouTube content for offline viewing, proceed with caution: Many of these sites and apps are full of malware.
With so many free streaming options out there, it’s easier than ever to cut the cord an [...]
Federal legislation that aims to crack down on robocalls is now waiting to be signed into law. The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act reached President Donald Trump’s desk on Friday after the U.S. House and Senate agreed on a final version of the bill. “TRACED” is an acronym for “Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence.” If signed into law... [...]
Order this super deal on the Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus while it is available. You can purchase this now and use it as a gift idea later in the year. You can order the Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus for only $8.39. You will be saving 51% because it is usually $16.99. Be sure that you ... Read More about Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus
The post Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
We consider our cats our children.
We once spent $1,000 to cat-proof a back yard so Jack and Opie could roam outside without escaping to the dangerous world beyond the fence — the life expectancy of a cat is several times longer if it doesn’t run free.
Our guys have a variety of cat furniture, and they eat food that costs more than $7 per pound.
Maybe you spoil your pets, too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save money on pet care.
For example, you can buy expensive food, but on sale. You can build elaborate (or simple) pet furniture, instead of paying a fortune for it.
Here are some more ways to save money on your pets.
1. Buy Smaller Pets
If you haven’t yet chosen a pet, consider smaller ones as a way to save money on pet care.
A small dog will cost you $295 less per year than a large one ($580 vs. $875), suggests ASPCA data on pet care costs. That’s even less than a cat ($670 per year), partly because of the cost of cat litter.
Of course, you could consider even smaller animals. You’ll spend an average of $200 per year on a small bird, and just $35 on a fish.
Note: First-year costs for all pets are substantially higher than the figures above because of one-time costs like spaying or neutering, and buying pet carriers and other equipment.
2. Adopt Instead of Buying
The breeder price for a dog is multiples higher than the cost of adopting one from a shelter.
You’ll probably save money on pet care by getting your dog or cat from a shelter, and you could also save a life.
Over 2 million shelter animals are euthanized in the U.S. each year. We adopted Opie from a shelter, and Jack adopted us when he was finally ready to upgrade his alley-cat lifestyle.
3. Join Pet Store Loyalty Clubs
I just received a $5 gift certificate from Petco, because I used my Petco Pals Rewards card for the last $100 in purchases there.
I bought food that was on sale (rewards card required, of course). Most of the major pet supply retailers have similar programs.
Sign up for several if you shop in more than one place.
4. Use Discounted Gift Cards
You can buy discounted gift cards on a number of good websites. Most carry cards for more than one pet supply chain.
For example, you’ll find Pet Food Express on Raise and Petco on ABC Gift Cards.
5. Watch for Pet Food Sales
We buy expensive cat food, because there’s a difference in quality.
And evidence linking canine diseases to grains in dog food suggests you could make your pet sick and have future vet bills if you go too cheap.
But even the best pet foods go on sale, so why not stock up when it costs less?
You can find weekly ads for pet supply retailers online. You can also link your email address to your customer loyalty card to get sales alerts.
6. Feed Your Pets Some Human Food
What do baked carrots, steamed broccoli and boiled eggs have in common?
They all cost less than cat food (at least the stuff we buy) and they’re all safe and healthy for cats to eat, according to Animal Planet.
WebMD has a list of people foods your dog can eat.
(Not that cooking for your pets means they’re spoiled or anything.)
7. Stack Savings Tactics for Cheaper Food
To really reduce the cost of pet food, try deal-stacking.
For example, I recently bought our usual brand of cat food at Petco using a coupon, while it was on sale. And, I paid with an American Express card with an “Amex Offer” for a $5 statement rebate.
Or, buy discounted gift cards and use them when there’s a sale — a simple strategy that could make a good sale even better.
8. Store Pet Food Properly
We discovered early on that our cats refuse their food if it’s too old — and then we have to throw it away.
Even if we just overfill their dishes and the remainder sits there overnight, they won’t eat it.
Check the expiration date for your pet food, dole it out a little at a time and store it properly to keep it fresh.
We prefer to use up our cat food months before the expiration date. We store it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. The cats like the food better this way (yes, we tested), and we save money not having to throw away any of it.
9. Have Your Pets Spayed or Neutered
You spend money upfront to spay or neuter your pets, but there are long-term savings.
For example, some of the negative behaviors associated with not spaying or neutering dogs and cats can be expensive.
Unspayed cats can damage furniture and carpet by spraying urine on them to attract males. Unneutered dogs can be more violent, leading to injuries or possible lawsuits if they attack people.
There’s also the obvious huge cost of not fixing those pets: puppies and kittens.
10. Call the Vet Before You Need One
The worst time to find an affordable vet is when you have a medical emergency. If you love your pets, you’ll pay whatever it costs in the moment.
To save money on pet care — both routine stuff and emergency treatments — choose an affordable vet before you need one.
Use websites like VetRatingz.com to avoid bad vets (we can tell you from experience, they’re out there). Call the acceptable ones and ask what they charge for a basic checkup, vaccinations, teeth cleaning or other procedures.
If you have an idea of what services your pet might need, ask about those.
In any case, ask about a few different services so you get an idea of the general price level of each veterinary office.
11. Don’t Shop at the Vet Office
In our experience, everything from cat toothbrushes to flea collars costs more at the vet’s office.
You’re better off buying anything you can at a pet supply store, including any non-prescription medications or treatments.
12. Buy Pet Medications Online
Many pet medications are cheaper online.
Here are a few places you can fill pet prescriptions:
Discount Pet Medicines
13. When It Comes to Pet Insurance, Choose Wisely
Unexpected vet bills can be the most expensive part of having a pet.
Pet insurance for dogs, cats and even birds can keep the costs of pet care reasonable. While the monthly premiums are an additional expense on top of food, toys, treats and grooming, pet insurance is worth it for medical emergencies, especially serious illnesses or injuries.
Like all insurance, it’s a gamble. You will likely spend more over the course of your animal’s life on monthly premiums than the cost of regular vet care if your pet is healthy.
But if your furry friend gets sick or suffers a major injury, insurance will potentially save you a lot of money on pet care.
Here’s how to choose the best insurance for your pet.
Pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. If your pet has health problems, try to save the money you would spend on insurance, and instead put it into savings for future care.
14. Make Sure Your Pets Get Exercise
Pets benefit from exercise just like humans. It helps keep them healthy and avoid obesity, which means fewer vet bills for you.
15. Make Pet Furniture
Why buy pet furniture when you can make it for a lot less?
Here are some examples of what you could build:
16. Make Pet Toys
We buy toys for our cats at least a couple times each year.
The result is almost always the same: What seemed so cute and fun in the store is completely ignored by Jack and Opie.
The good news is they love almost everything we make for them, especially paper balls and anything involving string.
Moral of the story: Don’t spend a fortune on unwanted pet toys when you can make better ones.
Here are a couple resources to get you started:
DIY Dog Toys
DIY Cat Toys
17. Make Your Own Pet Enclosures
Want to provide a fenced area for your dog or an outdoor “catio” for your cats?
Why not do it yourself?
You can see one of my own creations in my post about building cat enclosures.
More recently, I fenced in a patio area and cat-proofed it for $450 ($140 just for a building permit). The lowest quote I got before going it alon [...]
Aaron Amat / Shutterstock.com When’s the last time you popped in a cassette tape? Rented a movie at a video store? Wrote a check for groceries? Maybe you still do some — or all — of these things. But chances are good you’ve replaced many of what used to be common, everyday activities with more technologically updated trends. It can be tough to believe that many of the... [...]
If you have a little one that loves Play-Doh, grab this deal for even more fun! You can get the Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer for only $11.19. You will be saving 34% on this purchase because it is normally $16.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change ... Read More about Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer
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