Saturday, January 24, 2009

Deal Resources Online

Here's a list of websites I have came across that helps with saving a lot of money and time:

FatWallet.com -
If you register you can opt-in to receive e-mails for recent deals. Found a lot of good deals this way and don't have to check up on the website all the time.

Slickdeals.net -
Go to "Forums" and then "Hot Deals" for the latest deals. Update everyday, usually every couple of hours there's a new deal. If you register you can put in keywords and be notified by email whenever there's something relating to the keyword.

Amazon Deal Finder - A list of direct links from 10% off to 90% off of items on sale at Amazon.com. Categorized.

CheapAssGamer.com - A good website to find deals. Not only for video games but also for sweepstakes, free things, and free money. I cashed in because of this website when Coca-Cola had their big instant sweepstakes during the Olympics. Made $400 worth of GC's.

UPromise.com - A good website for students (College to Pre-K)and parents or friends of students. Basically, if you register your cards (store,CC,Debit) you'll earn credits which can be used to save for college or help pay for everyday things for the student. Go to Upromise and see what it is about. 100% legitimate.

FastWeb.com - I am relatively new to this website. But I believe it's the best for the latest information of scholarships. I get notified whenever there's a scholarship that is applicable to me from the information I inputted about my location, age, school, and degree plan. Why not take advantage of the free money that's being given away?

Google Shopping - Good way to shop for just about everything. You can organize your search by Relevance, Cost, Seller Rating, and Product Rating. Because it's Google. It catches auctions, popular websites, and smaller e-stores to help you find the lowest price.

CouponMom.com - A good place to find coupons, free samples, and latest sales. You can specify your location to get coupons for your area.



Prescription Eyeglasses Websites:

ZenniOptical.com - A constant updating supply of new designs and relatively cheap frames.

EyeBuyDirect.com - The #1 eyeglass shop online. Reviews are better than the rest.

Goggles4u.com - New for me, but reviews are good. Website has easy navigation. And glasses don't look too shabby.

39DollarGlasses.com - This website has been around for sometime and many people say they have good experience with it. Many fashionable styles to choose from.



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Food for less. Save money on the food you purchase.

I'm starting this blog because I know, next to the cost of rent, food is the 2nd most costly item for a lot of students. Let me show you how to save your money on food.

How I save money on groceries:

1.) Limit yourself from going out to eat. Some fast food chains are inexpensive, but not as healthy as cooking at home. (To save more money at fast food chains, use coupons that come in the mail. Typically, you can save 25% to 60% with these coupons.)

2.) Register at your local grocery stores. Now a lot of grocery stores offer cards (Not credit cards, but savings cards. Free to everybody.) just by signing up. Filling out the form is good also because the stores will send store sales and coupons to your mailbox. On average, I save a few dollars with my cards. But I have saved more than 50% on my food purchases when I combined my card with store sales and coupons. I also get special coupons in my email box occasionally that I can't get through any other means because I signed up for the card.

3.) Look up your local grocery stores online and through the yellow pages. Write them down, or print them if you like. Keep in mind your daily commute to school or work from home. If there's grocery stores that are on your route, that will cut down time and money for gas to go out of the way to buy groceries.

4.) Go to your grocery store's website. Bookmark all of your grocery store websites that you can. If they have deal notification offers, sign-up. When time is near to grocery shop go online and look at the store sales ads.

5.) Sometimes, stores have great sales that only come around every couple of months or longer. I have recently came along a sale for chicken breast that was on sale for $0.99 / lb. In my area, chicken breast goes for $4 / lb. So when I seen the deal I took full advantage and purchased the max allowable on the sale ad (Which was 3 pckgs). This will maximize your savings for now and long term thinking that the food will last for a long time.
Here's some grocery stores I have good experience with:

    Save-A-Lot
- I have been getting free bread weekly from this store because there's an survey option on the receipts, which when you do it, gives you a code to enter on the coupon to redeem for free bread. I also buy bananas here for 3lbs/$1, 1 Qt of yogurt for $2.50, and PB for $1.

    Food Lion
- I get $.99 american cheese here that's just as good or better than Craft. Good prices on frozen vegetables, fresh vegetables & fruit, and, occasionally, PB for $1.

    Winn-Dixie
- Good weekly specials, have to look for sales in ads, but this is where I saved 2x's $$$ for my meat. Chicken and Turkey meat.

6.) Another very important rule, that I go by, is I only buy essential food. I don't buy food that does not have some sort of nutritional value. I don't buy cereal anymore, because most cereal doesn't provide anything but filler. I choose to eat eggs, that I purchase for $0.10 each. I buy vegetables, juice on occasion, bread, etc. I drink tap water, but have a water purifier. And I like to drink a lot of hot tea.

7.) Another very important rule, save money by purchasing generic brands. I buy the same amount of PB for half the price of a name brand of the same amount of PB. Same goes with bread, cheese, juice, tuna, and just about everything has a generic brand you can buy and save more money.

8.) Next time you go to the grocery store and see a tv dinner, think about it and your healthier and less expensive alternatives. For instance, those Michelina Chicken fried rice dinners go for ~ $1, right? But if you buy a $20 lb bag of white rice, $2 bottle of soy sauce, $2 bag of mixed vegetables, $2 worth of chicken. You can fry your own rice, mixed the chicken (cooked), with vegetables and soy sauce. And have a much better dinner than the Michelina dinner. You can control the amount of soy also. That $26 worth of rice, chicken, vegetables, and soy sauce will last a lot longer and cost less for you in the long term. A 20lb bag of rice for me, if I ate rice everyday, I would last me 2~3 months.

Some Easy, Cheap, and Quick Recipes:



    • Ramen, Tuna, & Vegetables
    - Boil water, open can of tuna and drain water, if vegetables are frozen- thaw in microwave. I use tupperware to boil my ramen, but you can use a bowl or pot. Use flavor packet when boiling noodles. You can control the amount you would like to use (The packets have a lot of sodium). Once noodles are soft, drain or don't drain water with the flavor packet. Mix vegetables & tuna & noodles. You can flavor it some more. I like to use "Sri Racha" chile paste, but you can use anything. I heard people using ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, almost anything you like. Voila. This is one of my favorite easy meals.


    • PB&J or PB & banana
    - Bread, PB & J or PB & banana. Eat for lunch a lot. A $1.oo tub of PB lasts me 7-10 sandwiches.
    • Chicken stir-fry ramen
    - Boil ramen noodles up until just become soft. Mix stir fry mix vegetables, ramen, cooked chicken, and soy sauce in hot oiled skillet or wok(if you have one). Cook just for a couple of minutes. Voila! A very good lomein, but ramen meal. *I found when using frozen mixed vegetables for this recipe, throw frozen vegetables in hot skillet, with everything else and after a couple of minutes vegetables will be hot but still crunchy and good.
    • Spaghetti and Turkey meat sauce
    - Brown ground turkey meat, drain oil and fat. Simmer can of spaghetti sauce. Mix in ground turkey meat with sauce(I use 1lb meat to 260z can). Add seasoning if you like, like basil and oregano. Boil spaghetti. Drain spaghetti. Don't rinse spaghetti!!! This washes off important starches that help sauce stick to noodles. And mix sauce with noodles. Delicious!
    • Pollo con Arroz y frijoles negro (Chicken with black beans and rice)
    - My favorite cuban dish. Buy dry black beans. Soak them overnight in water. Boil them the next day. When soft, mix with cooked rice, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped green peppers, cumin spice, and chicken bouillon cube. Serve hot. With cooked chicken, seasoned how ever you like. Some people like to marinate the chicken in adobo, or just cook with onions, whatever you like that will complement the black beans and rice.

If you have any recipes, please share them. I have many other ideas that I'll add later on.

Cut your own hair and save money $$$!

Over the past year I have cut my own hair. It would have cost me $20 every two weeks. Which equates to $40 a month. That's $480 a year. Of course ...I know many people spend much more than that a month on their hair. Which means it's possible to save much more than what I already have saved in a year.

What you need:

1.) Hair Clippers ($5~$50+)

2.) Scissors (for hair! <$10) 3.) Razor ($0.10) 4.) Comb & Brush (<$20) 5.) Hand mirror (<$10) *Optional Items:

5.) Swiffer wipes (Dry kind! $2~$5)

6.) Towel ($2~$10)

Ok. Got at least the items 1~5? I found my 10pc Wahl clipper set at Marshalls for $20. The clipper set came with the scissors, a comb, special cleaning brush, a hand mirror, and oil to mainatin the clippers. This was a good deal compared to getting the items separately. I recommend paying a little more for a clipper set, unless you already have the other items. You can find deals at Wal-Mart, Marshalls, Bealls, Target, GoodWill, The Salvation Army ...etc. And if you have no luck finding a good price you can check deal sites like DoD Tracker, FatWallet.com, Woot, and PriceGrabber. These websites are good to remember. I'll post a composited list of more of websites like this later on.

How to Cut Your Own Hair:

Next, think of how you get your haircut when you go to the barber, or salon, and how they do it.
  • They wrap a cover, or *towel, around you to for your hair. Use a towel for the same.
  • Because I had my haircut short then, it wasn't diffircult. I found, however, that it took some trial and error. There were some times I had to cut my hair shorter than I wanted because I wasn't familiar with the sizes of the attachments. The size 3, in this case, isn't the same as what my barber used on me. Always start with, at least, 1 size larger than what your barber used. I like my hair blended, or faded, it took some adapting for me to figure out a technique but I have found sticking with one attachment that's not too short or long for you works best. Because switching attachments ends up with obvious thicknesses in your hair. Makes it look like you have steps on your head. You may not want that.
  • What I now do is start with my size 3 attachment. Cut from the bottom-up. And go-over-and-over-again 6 or more times to make sure I don't miss any straggling hairs. To blend my hair, I pick a lower point from the start. And move out away from the scalp as I move up. I do this all the way around. I also use my other hand to mark a point where I don't want to go passed.
  • Use a mirror in you bathroom with your hand mirror to check your sides and back of your head.
  • Use a razor to clean up smaller hairs on your neck.
  • Use the scissors to trim and cut larger portions of hair. I also use scissors to taper my hair around my ears and side burns.
  • To taper, I comb my hair forward. And cut the hair that overlays the natural border of my hair. Except for the top where I trim. Then I comb it back, and do it again. Then I comb it down, and do it again.
    I also use the clippers in the back to taper. I take off the attachment, adjust the blades as long as possible, and cut up- making sure I just cut hair that overlaps that natural hair border.
  • Clean up hair with *swiffer wipes. I think these work so much better than a towel. A vacuum would also be a good way to clean up the cut hair.
  • Women can have success doing the same. Just try and do the steps that your hair person would do.
I wish everyone that chooses to try this, success and saving a little more cash. :)

The Money Saving College Student Blog ©

Hello.
Regardless of the reason why you came to my blog. Whether you are a student, a graduate, a person interested in finding new ways to save money, and all those who like to save money. I wish that my blog helps you in the endeavor to "pinch-the-penny" and break away from societies willingness, or mindset, to remain in debt.

Welcome to The Money Saving College Student Blog! © Any suggestions and/or questions, please feel free to email me: jdept.mail@gmail.com

About Me

I am 27 years old. I live in Jacksonville, Florida. I graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Aeronautics with a minor in Safety. Now I am working towards a FAA Airframe & Powerplant certification through FSCJ. I served 6 years in the USAF. I had a chance to go all over the world and learn to be open of other ways of life. The reason why I think I am good at saving money and giving others advice is because of my travels, being in the military, good instinct, and mostly because I am a detailed-oriented and a very, very resourceful individual.