I encourage readers to be diligent about reading product labels and unit pricing. Being a smart consumer means being informed about ingredients and costs. Aubrey’s tip combines both, creating a product that her wallet likes and her tastebuds prefer.
LIGHTEN THE SOY SAUCE. My husband and I enjoy stir fry recipes and like to use low sodium soy sauce because regular soy sauce tastes too salty. We go through it pretty quickly and wanted to buy it in bulk, but none of the warehouse stores in our area carry the low-sodium version. I read the list of ingredients and discovered that low sodium soy sauce is basically soy sauce, water and caramel coloring. Now we make our own. We purchase regular soy sauce in bulk and dilute it. It might be lighter in color, but now we have soy sauce at half the cost. Believe me, I can live with the lighter color! Aubrey, West Virginia Continue reading
Posted on April 9, 2013
Stealing someone else’s personal information to commit theft or fraud—also known as identity theft—has exploded into the national consciousness. Credit card companies now market their security features and consumers warily guard their Social Security numbers. And it doesn’t stop there. The use of stolen Social Security numbers allows thieves to steal tax refunds, open bank accounts and do all manner of illegal operations using another’s identity.
Recently I saw the comedy movie, “Identity Theft.” Because it is so entertaining, the story comes off as fictionalized in a way that could not possibly play out that way in real life. The sobering truth is that this exact scenario is being played out every day. Unsuspecting people are having their identities stolen and their futures compromised as thieves open credit card accounts, finance new cars and clean out bank accounts.
I’ll admit it. Rule six in my book, 7 Money Rules for Life: How to Take Control of Your Financial Future is not my favorite of the seven rules. Honestly, I would much rather change “Manage Your Credit” to “Death to Credit, Live on Cash” and be done with it. But unless we can figure out how to turn back the clock a half century or so, that would be unwise—even foolish.
That leaves us with two choices. One, we can ignore the matter of consumer credit and just hope for the best (not a very good option). Or, two, we can take full responsibility for maintaining an excellent credit rating for the purpose of saving money and improving our financial intelligence and our effectiveness as money managers. We must opt for the latter because your credit rating plays a very important role in your financial health.
Rule six in its entirety reads, “Manage your credit rating to achieve a high level of creditworthiness.” Read this rule again, paying close attention to the words “credit rating” and “creditworthiness.” This rule does not mean going into debt, creating debt or taking on huge sums of available credit. Continue reading
I am a huge fan of meals that can be cooked together using the same heat source. Slow cookers and stovetop one-pot dinners are common, but an entree and dessert that can bake side-by-side in the oven? That’s a cook’s dream. And our favorite registered dietician, Brenda Ponichtera, R.D., has done just that with tasty enchiladas and apple crisp. Add a salad and you’ve got a complete healthy, tasty meal.
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I do a lot of online shopping. My sister, on the other hand, refuses to buy anything online because of the extra charges like shipping and handling. Her position does make sense, but I’m not ready to abandon the Internet forever. Are there ways I can be sure I don’t overpay? Barbara, email
Always count shipping and handling as part of the cost. And your sister needs to count gasoline and parking in her costs. Then, know your prices. And always compare the online price with what things cost at stores in your area. Continue reading