When I say “pudding,” what comes to mind? Perhaps comfort or childhood memories of mom stirring it on the stove. The history of pudding goes back farther, actually. Back to ancient times when it was discovered that liquid gone thick was pretty tasty.
A thorough pudding history wouldn’t be complete without visiting medieval England and meat-based puddings, pudding bags and the emergence of sweet-based puddings. Then in the 1800s a custard-based powered was invented as a replacement for eggs. By the end of the 1800s, pudding and custard were being touted as a nutritional option for children and invalids.
In the 1930s, pudding mixes were born and America’s love of pudding was cemented.
Stove-top pudding then evolved into instant pudding and now we have pudding snack cups. But nothing beats the taste and comfort of from-scratch pudding. Besides, at more than $2 a box this is easy savings for your food budget.
Please give me some pointers on bouncing back from bankruptcy. Will this have any effect on future employment opportunities? Henry, email
Live on cash. Have only one credit card and if you use it pay it in full every month. Refuse all other offers of credit and take on no unsecured debt. Pay all of your bills early, never be late. Let nothing prevent you from saving 10 percent of your income. Many employers require credit reports from prospective employees—it’s the new character reference. Your bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for 10 years, there’s no way around that. This may adversely affect your job opportunities. But don’t despair. In time your credit report will reflect a radical change of behavior and that will speak volumes to anyone looking at it, even a prospective employer. Continue reading
There are many things that aren’t negotiable. The salesperson at Macy’s won’t negotiate with you over the price of that newly arrived collection. But a ring at your local jeweler, or produce at the farmer’s market? Well, that’s a different story. And add magazine renewals to the list.
KNOW YOUR PRICES. When I receive a magazine renewal offer in the mail, I first check the website for the current online subscription price. Then I call customer service and request the same price, which is always lower. They are eager to lower my subscription price to keep me as a customer. One magazine even went lower than the published online price! Nancy, Texas
I enjoy discovering secret information—stuff most people don’t know about. And I love spreading the word. Here’s an example: My supermarket, like most, offers a “rain check” if they run out of a product that is on sale. This is really great in my opinion, because my store’s rain checks have no set expiration date.
Here’s another secret: There’s no limit on how many of that item I can get later—at a more convenient time—with my rain check.
Case in point: Last summer my supermarket advertised its London Broil cut of beef for $3.99 a pound. That’s a bargain where I live. And sure enough, they sold out before noon on Sunday, the day I was shopping. No problem. Because my goal was to load up my freezer, I asked for a rain check. A full two months later, when London Broil was at its regular price of $7.99 a pound—quite plentiful in the butcher’s case and, I believe, a nicer selection—I bought 10. And yes, I got the $3.99 per pound for the lot. I smiled all the way home. Continue reading
All of us have quitting points in our lives—those times or situations that become so overwhelming or challenging that we simply quit. No matter what you call them—brick walls, insurmountable obstacles, predictable or complete surprises, financial crises—things will never change if you don’t acknowledge they’re real. A key to overcoming the desire to quit is to identify those “brick walls,” and then figuring out how to crash through them.
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What past circumstances and situations have caused you to throw in the towel and turn to credit as the easy way out? Perhaps it was Christmas or vacation or your fickle feelings of dissatisfaction when you saw what others had that you wanted. Continue reading