10 ways to Bargain Shop!

Have you ever wondered how the extreme couponer’s save thousands of dollars each year? Have you ever wanted to be like them? If your answer is yes, I can help. Here are some of my tips and tricks to help you save money and time each year.

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Photo Credit: Carol Pyles

First, I have some ways to help save money. It is really hard to save money these days because everything is so expensive, but don’t fear there is a solution.

1. Get the Sunday paper every Sunday to get the stores flyers and coupons for that week. This will help you save more than you spent on the paper. Each Sunday paper is normally full of 3 coupons inserts and also contains store flyers that have even more coupons. Every week you’re saving over $100. Isn’t that Insane? In this week’s paper there is a $2 off of Maybelline Cosmetics coupons, which is $0.15 more than the paper. Your saving more than you spent on the paper! Wow!

2. Take advantage of some of the stores “free money” policies. A “free money” policy is when you spend a certain amount at a store and get money back. Stores like Kohls and Walgreens have the “free money” policy or something similar to it. Kohls cash back is given to you when you spend a certain amount of money and then you get a certain amount of cash back. The Kohls cash are just like coupons because they expire. For example, if I went to Kohls and spent $50.00 or over I would get around $10.00 Kohls cash back, but I can only use it from April 1-15th.

3. Do separate transactions in order to use more coupons and get better bargains. Some stores have a policy where you can only use a certain amount of coupons per transaction so you must read the stores policy and see if you have to do separate transactions. For example, sometimes in stores there is a limit on how many coupons you can use in each transaction so by separating them you can use more coupons. If I went to Target and I wanted to get Cereal because I had coupons to save $1.00 off 2 boxes and I grabbed 4 boxes because I had 2 of those coupons I could only use one per transaction. I had to separate the transactions in order to get 4 boxes.

4. Sign up for the email/reward program of the store to get notifications when there are sales or coupons available. By doing this you will receive even more coupons and deals and you will know when there are big sales going on. For example, the J-crew website has this window popup asking if you want to sign up for the email program. The email program is great because then you get to know when there are big sales or great deals going on. I am signed up with many email programs from different stores. My favorite email program is Bath and Body works because each week they have amazing sales. For example, this week the soaps are 5 for $18 or 7 for $24 and they are normally $6.50 each. So you are saving up to $21.50.

5. Go online and look on different coupon sites to find more coupons. There are some coupons online that you can’t get in the papers there are many websites like:

http://www.coupons.com/

http://www.redplum.com/

http://www.smartsource.com/smartsource/index.jsp?Link=MKRU3JAAR6CCY

For example, this week on coupons.com you can save $1.00 on the crest toothpaste and also you can save $2.00 on Pantene hair products.

6. Go to the clearance section first to see what they have on sale. This is the best section in the store and the least expensive section. You can find great things for amazing prices. For example, I went to the clearance section and found a nail polish that was originally $8.00 and was on sale for $3.00! You have to search hard in order to find the best deals.

7. Compare prices of an item to different stores. Go to the store with the least expensive price. Then you can find the store with the best price or you can have another store compare the price or maybe even beat it. For example, if I went to Wal-Mart and found a hair product that is $5.00 and then later I went to Target and saw the same one for $3.00, I obviously got the least expensive one.  If you find something you really want but you know that you could get it somewhere else cheaper then just wait to get it instead of spending more money. It may be annoying to wait, but I promise it’s worth it in the end.

Now in order to save money you have to save time. It takes a lot of time to find coupons, cut them and then go to the store and get the items you need. So I came up with some ways for you to save time and be more organized about it.

8. Do the math out before you go shopping so your plan is ready and you don’t take too long in the line. This will help save time in the long run. The math really helps so when you have to pay at the register you know how much you should bring. It also helps so you don’t have to do it after and then you have a plan before you go in the store. When I do this I like to look up the price of each product I am going to buy and add the prices all together and don’t forget to add the tax! After that I subtract the amount of each coupon that I am going to use so that I know how much I am going to pay when I go to the store and how much money I should bring.

9. Plan out your shopping day so you know which stores you are going to, when you are going to them and what you are going to get there. This will help you be organized and then you won’t be driving all over the place. Also you will not have the urge to buy unnecessary items that you were not intending to buy. For example, write down a list of things you need and the stores you want to go to so that you can get what is on your list, and only what is on your list.

10. And lastly, make sure you have all your coupons. Be organized! The best way to be organized is to find a place to store your coupons. Many people use binders, but I like to use bins or file cabinets.

That’s it! Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you save money at your next shopping trip.

 

“How to Bargain Shop Like a Pro.” MORE Magazine. N.p., 09 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

“How to Bargain Shop.” WikiHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014

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A Little Much, Don’t You Think?

It always occurred to me that celebrities and professional athletes get paid more than doctors do. I mean, why do they? Doctors keep people healthy and save lives. Celebrities are talented at what they do, ranging from singing to dancing to acting. Professional Athletes are talented at doing something athletic. It’s not just the fact that doctors get paid less than celebrities do. It’s also how much more celebrities get paid than doctors.

These are some stats from http://healthland.time.com/ showing the average salary for doctors. The site used “a third-party online collection website, Medscape surveyed 24,216 physicians across 25 specialties”

  • Radiology: $315,000
  • Orthopedics: $315,000
  • Cardiology: $314,000
  • Plastic surgery: $270,000
  • General surgery: $265,000
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology: $220,000
  • Psychiatry: $170,000
  • Pediatrics: $156,000

The average salary for a professional athlete (NFL, MBA etc) is between 400k and 1.8 million. The top-paying athlete makes 85 million annually! Compared to a doctor’s annual salary, it’s unbelievable how much athletes get paid just because they are talented at playing a sport.

An article on http://www.npr.org/ (courtesy of Sports Illustrated & ESPN), it states, “By the time they (athletes) have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress.”  The reason being is because most of the time, the athletes don’t spend their money well. Most of the money goes towards buying cars, houses, jewelry, and tailored suits. Now why should this money be used to buy all these extra luxuries? Why not for a better cause such as cancer research?

From the website http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ , it showed a few of the annual salaries of today’s stars. For example, in 2013, Taylor Swift made 57 million, Brad Pitt made 35 million and Sofia Vergara made 21 million. Why are they making that much?

The answer to why celebrities are paid so much is because of the popularity of their work. The more people watch them, the more money they make. Don’t you think their income could just lower by a bit? We could use that money for charity. What’s your opinion?

History of Food: Pasta

The first form of food similar to pasta was in the writings of Horace where thin strips of dough were fried and served with spices in the 1st century B.C.E. A few centuries later, we see an ancient ancestor of modern day lasagna come out in the form of lagana. It was described to be consisted of sheets of dough with meat filling in between. In the second century, the dough started to be made with flour and water instead of juice from lettuce. Later, Arabs adopted a similar form of noodle in the 5th century and lead to the Italians making thin strip noodle pasta.

 

If we jump to the 15th century, dried pasta was very valued because it could be stored for very long periods of time.That’s why many exploring ships brought dried pasta to the New World. Believe it or not, tomato sauce was only invented in the 18th century! Before this, people would just eat pasta with their hands. Now, people eat it with forks because the tomato would get too messy without it.

 

Today, the average Italian eats about sixty pounds of pasta per year, while the average American eats about twenty pounds of pasta per year. Writings suggest it originated in Italy, but why is it popular in North America? It’s because Italian immigration to the Americas that we love pasta so much. Italians have also had a mass immigration to South Africa, making spaghetti and meatballs a major part of Italian cuisine.

 

Do you like pasta? How do you eat yours? Comment, if you want, I guess.

 

Angkor Wat: The World’s Largest Religious Monument

Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap Province in Cambodia, is the world’s largest religious monument. “Angkor” comes from Sanskrit and means “city” while Wat is Khmer for “temple.” Cambodians are usually referred to as Khmer people and Thai are referred to as Siem. So, the name Siem Reap means “Thai Defeat,” but that’s another story. Angkor Wat also appears on the national flag of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat was originally built in the 12th century by king Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple. It was a dedication to Vishnu. Later, in the 16th century, Buddhism took over and Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple. The Buddhists tried to paint the giant wall mural depicting several scenes from Hinduism and in some parts, you can actually touch the carved stone on the mural.

Angkor Wat lies on an island 1km x 1.5km with a 1 km wide moat on all sides. There are two entrances: the front in the west and the back in the east. Angkor Wat, unlike most temples, faces to the west instead of the east to signify that Suryavarman was intending to be buried there. Inside the temple, there is a central point where you can see in all four directions, many intricate and sometimes unfinished carvings, and a big central tower which was the king’s tomb. The central has really steep stairs that you could be afraid of going up and down.

Overall, Angkor Wat is a great place and has a lot of extra history and details to it, and it is also a great tourist destination.

Hehe, It’s a Lizard!

I took this picture of a really cool lizard in Cambodia.

Gods Versus Demons

This picture was taken by the wall mural in Angkor Wat. If you look closely, the ones facing to the right are different from the ones facing to the left. The gods are facing to the right and the demons … Continue reading

Khmer BBQ

I took this picture in Cambodia of a Khmer hot pot barbecue. They give you all the raw ingredients and you cook them yourself.

The History of Food: The Best of the Best: ICE CREAM!

The earliest known form of ice cream was in the Persian Empire when grape juice concentrate was poured on top of snow for a treat when it was hot outside. People have been doing this for centuries. Sorbet is said … Continue reading

The History of Food: Escargot

Ewwwww… escargot. These creatures are a treat for the French, but we think of it as being disgusting. These are snails that have gone through heliculture and have been stuffed back into their shells with garnishes. Years ago, in ancient … Continue reading

How to Survive in the Wild

Photo credit:  Al_HikesAZhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/4670272715/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ

Have you ever gotten lost in the woods with no one with you with no tools? Probably not, and I commend you if you have. But if you answered no, you might want to read on.

The first thing you want to do if you get lost in the woods is to call for help. Hey, you never know if someone will hear you.

Next you will want to take care of three essential things that a human needs to survive: food, water, and shelter.

The first of those three things is shelter. Try to make at least a small covering out of sticks (if you have rope, that would greatly help) to protect you from the elements.

Second is water. Water is the number 1 thing you want to have if you are lost in the wild. To find water in the wilderness, you would want to head downhill, rain water will run downhill. If you can not find water, don’t give up, if you see any animal, they have to drink also. You could dig down deep to find water too. You will want to make a fire to purify your water, but more on that later. Heres a small tip, try not to drink from a still pond to avoid parasites.

The third essential thing that a human needs to survive is food. In order to know if a wild berry is poisonous, first, smell it. If it smells like peaches or almonds, it is probably poisonous. Next, test it on your skin, if it tingles or get’s a rash don’t eat it. After that, place it on your lips, if it starts to burn, it is most likely poisonous.

After you take care of those, you have to make a fire. Gather small sticks to get the fire started, then get bigger sticks, then get big logs to keep the fire going. Put the small sticks in a little pile. To light that pile faster, you can add highly flammable substances such as birch bark and orange peels. To light it, if you have an orange, peel it, then put a rock in the center of the peel and take a stick and rub it against the stick, the peel will catch on fire for a while. If you don’t have an orange, bend a stick and tie a shoelace around each end to make sort of a bow looking thing. Then twirl a stick in it and rub it, it will make friction, which will eventually make a spark.  Continue reading