The Frugal Edge (43)

Sunday, 26 March 2017 19:41

Buying and selling apps - Poshmark & Mercari

Written by Michelle Fern

Hi Frugals! Miss Me?

By now, most of you are probably familiar with selling your gently used goods on your phone through apps. These apps help you earn extra cash by selling and promoting your used (and new) goods to customers all over the country.

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:42

Gas guzzling economics

Written by Michelle Fern

While we basked in the sun when the recent temperatures finally broke the 80 degree mark, I'm already seeing people running their vehicles with the air conditioning on. It's going to be a long summer for these folks, as the approach of summer also means the usual rise of fuel prices that hit only one thing the wallet. 

Those who follow the petroleum industry explain it away by stating that more people travel in the summer months, thus creating a larger demand on the country's fuel supplies. This is only partially true it's also the time of year when refineries transition between producing two different types of gasoline, a winter blend and a summer blend. Since 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required the use of reformulated gasoline blends under the Clean Air Act, where higher amounts of low-cost additives like butane help gasoline evaporate more quickly during the winter, but are reduced for blends used during the April through September season.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013 16:12

Keeping your coupons and valuables safe

Written by Michelle Fern

I was in the grocery store Saturday morning and had just turned my head for a minute or two to browse some items. It wasn't that long, but when I turned back toward my cart I noticed a man walking up in front of me.

I didn't give it much thought, put the item I selected in my cart and carried on. But when I reached for one of my coupons I noticed that three winning lottery tickets I had in my coupon envelope were gone. I had just seen them, so it didn't take long to deduce the man stole them. They were only worth $2 each, so I chalked it up to him needing the $6 more than me.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:41

What do you consider yourself, frugal or cheap?

Written by Michelle Fern

There are times when people consider me as someone who is cheap because I use coupons, sometimes spend months shopping around for the best prices, or because I return to stores for price adjustments when items come on sale. However, because I am a person who chooses to manage my money and spend it wisely I consider myself as frugal. There is always that battle between cheap vs. frugal.

Wednesday, 06 March 2013 17:01

Make your groceries last longer

Written by Michelle Fern

I mentioned in a prior article in November that Americans waste 96 billion pounds of food each year. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, an average household of four throws away over $1.000 per year in food broken down, about 17 percent of dairy, 20 percent of vegetables, 15 percent of fruit, 18 percent of the grains, 25 percent of seafood, and 33 percent of the meat you buy goes to waste.

As I cleaned up the kitchen this past weekend, I found myself throwing away some stale bread, a very black banana, and leftovers that began the reproduction process through some furry babies. I couldn't help but think about the waste both in terms of food and my wallet and how I could avoid it.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 15:24

Kitchen must-haves

Written by Michelle Fern

One thing I struggle with every day is the family asking 'What's for dinner?' I don't think I'm alone here; it seems to be a common dilemma among many people, especially those who are part of a two-income family.

I usually wait until 5 p.m. to think about what I'm going to make for that night's dinner. Even when I have something in mind, I usually don't have one or two of the ingredients. Lately, I've tried to keep certain staples in the house to ensure that I have the basics to make a simple dinner.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 16:36

The risks of a cashless society

Written by Michelle Fern

Credit and debit cards are used pretty much all the time. We use them for everything from buying groceries, clothes, take-out food and gas to even paying household bills. Online shopping has also grown over the years, where people come home from work, grab a bite to eat, fire up the computer and shop away only to pull out the plastic and consummate the purchase.

But such usage carries risks. A few years ago my father received a call from his credit card company that someone was trying to use his credit card number online to purchase a $3,000 TV. They called him because it was not a normal spending habit, which threw up a red flag for his credit card company. He found out that an employee at a restaurant they frequented had stolen his credit card number, expiration date and security code from the back of the card. Score one for the wherewithal of the credit card issuer in alerting my father. However, many other cardholders are not so lucky.

Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:53

There's always a second life

Written by Michelle Fern

Reuse and Recycle I try my best to live by these words. Whether it's plastic grocery bags or food containers, leftovers after dinner or even extra screws after a project, I try to save everything that might come in handy at a later time when you may need it most.

Believe me, though, that it might be the reason we have full junk drawers I'm running out of room.

Thursday, 27 December 2012 19:18

Why people break New Year's resolutions

Written by Michelle Fern

Most of us are guilty of make New Year's resolutions only to end up breaking them. According to a study from the University of Scranton, 45 percent of Americans will make New Year's resolutions, but only 8 percent will actually see them through. For the first week, 75 percent of people will keep their resolutions, however 54 percent will fail after six months.

New Year's resolutions are broken mainly because we get too enthusiastic and end up over-committing ourselves. Look at some of the top five New Year's resolutions they sound easy enough, but they are not:

Thursday, 13 December 2012 14:30

When is it okay to re-gift?

Written by Michelle Fern

We've all opened that one gift that makes us say to ourselves, 'What am I going to do with this?' Maybe you already have that item and don't really need another one. Yes, you could ask for the receipt and return it. However, it can be very awkward so we rather just put it away or you wait until next Christmas and give it away. I've done it, more than once.

Now don't judge me as I see it, I'm getting rid of unwanted stuff sitting around the house. Plus it can save you some money, time and the shopping hassle.

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