Grocery stores price items around holidays, customer shopping patterns & seasonal produce. Did you know which entrance you choose to enter a store would play a factor in how much you spend? Studies have shown that customers who enter a store through the right-hand entrance & shop counterclockwise will spend more than those who do the opposite. Next time, try shopping clockwise & you will probably save some money!
Easter has come & gone. As you have probably noticed, all that candy & those plastic Easter eggs are on the clearance racks. This is a great time to stock up on non-perishable items for next year. See Ashley Bunker's recent blog post and candy stash from CVS at: http://thesavingsmomma.com/major-score-at-cvs-ka-pow/
Earth Day was April 22nd & most stores will have organic foods, reusable bags & energy efficient items on sale. Like years past, Target will be giving away free reusable bags to all customers on Earth Day. Since most grocery items are priced lower at Target than traditional grocery stores, you may want to check them out on the 22nd & grab a free bag while supplies last!
Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner & all traditional Mexican food items will be priced to move. Make sure to stock up on chips, salsa & refried beans. Beer & tequila will also be discounted, so if you’re looking to celebrate after the kids go to bed, stock up!
Our official kick-off to summer will be here before we know it. Memorial Day is known as one of the two holidays great for deals on everything you need to BBQ (Labor Day is the other holiday). So towards the end of May, look for deals
on hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments, paper plates & sunscreen ~ everything you need to start the summer off on a good note.
Don’t forget to buy what’s in season. Not only will it save you money, it will also be fresher! Here is a quick list of produce that is in season in April & May:
We have all been there at one point in time, a small grocery budget and a tight wallet, facing the fact that we need to purchase wholesome foods to keep our daily lives in motion. It's truly no wonder at all, that America is one of the most
obese countries in the world. How are we to provide wholesome foods to our families on a shoestring budget? Is it not easier to purchase the inexpensive overly processed foods that line the shelves in the grocery store in shiny wrappers and elaborate looking boxes? Surely the boxes don't scream out at us “warning trans fat!" or "Going straight to your hips!" or even "It will take 5 days of running 1 mile each day to burn off the calories in this product!" Nope it is up to you, the consumer, to read the labels. That is-if you can even pronounce half the ingredients.
As an avid couponer and blogger, I am inundated with questions from readers asking me (and sometimes sadly begging me) to help them with their grocery purchases. Particularly, how to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to feed their family without breaking their ever-so-fragile grocery budget. My answer is the same for all my readers, and really the key to my own survival amidst the rainbow of colors in the produce aisle: Buy in-season.
As an example, have you ever purchased Strawberries in the dead middle of winter? Yes you say? They weren't cheap were they? No, I didn't think so. Strawberries are in season now (now being spring). How does the cost compare now, to when you bought them in the middle of winter? About 50% cheaper and usually marked as a BOGO (buy one get one
free) deal. Buying in-season miraculous!
Not only do you save a good chunk of money buying produce in season, you can save even more money by purchasing said produce at a farmers market. Buying produce directly from the farmer/grower cuts out those dastardly packing and
hauling costs that most companies pay when produce is shipped from state to state. Packing and hauling costs only mean more money coming out of your pocket. After all, the grocery store has to make up for those costs
somehow. Farmers markets are also great because they are the very meaning of "farm to table", the newest notion to hit American tables. Supporting your local farmers and growers, and eating the wholesome foods you purchase at a
farmers market, essentially represents the meaning of farm to table. You are practically guaranteed flavor packed freshness when you buy from a farmers market. You can't get any better than that!
Lastly, let's debunk the myth that there are never any coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables............
There you have it, myth debunked-and yes, these are only just a few of the produce coupons in my possession.
If you want an easy, no hassle way of finding out what types of produce are in season and when, visit the Sustainable Table website. The Sustainable Table offers a search tool based on state and season, and also tells you the locations of Farmers Markets, CSA's, and Food Co-ops in your area. You can also conduct a general search of in season produce in all states. Doing so will help you determine what particular produce is in-season, at your local supermarket, throughout the year.
Do you have questions, opinions, helpful tips, or thoughtful comments on this post? Feel free to express yourself, by leaving a comment on my website http://www.thesavingsmomma.com
Tax Rules Relating to 529 College Savings Plans
Income Tax. Contributions made by the account owner or other contributor are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Earnings on contributions grow tax-free while in the program.
Distributions from the fund are tax-free to the extent used for qualified higher education expenses. Qualified expenses include tuition, required fees, books, supplies, equipment, and special needs services. For someone who is at least a half-time student, room and board also qualify.
Tip: In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) added expenses for computer technology/equipment or Internet access to the list of qualifying expenses. Software designed for sports, games, or hobbies does not qualify, unless it is predominantly educational in nature. In general, however, expenses for computer technology are not qualified expenses for the American Opportunity Credit, Hope Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, or tuition and fees deduction.
Gift Tax. For gift tax purposes, contributions are treated as completed gifts even though the account owner has the right to withdraw them - thus they qualify for the up-to-$13,000 annual gift tax exclusion. One contributing more than $13,000 may elect to treat the gift as made in equal installments over that year and the following 4 years, so that up to $65,000 can be given tax-free in the first year.
Estate Tax. Funds in the account at the designated beneficiary's death are included in the beneficiary's estate - an odd result, since those funds may not be available to pay the tax.
Funds in the account at the account owner's death are not included in the owner's estate, except for a portion thereof where the gift tax exclusion installment election is made for gifts over $13,000. For example, if the account owner made the election for a gift of $65,000 in 2011, a part of that gift is included in the estate if he or she dies within 5 years.
Tip: A Section 529 program can be an especially attractive estate-planning move for grandparents. There are no income limits, and the account owner giving up to $65,000 avoids gift tax and estate tax by living 5 years after the gift, yet has the power to change the beneficiary.
State Tax. State tax rules are all over the map. Some reflect the federal rules, some quite different rules. For specifics of each state's program, see http://www.collegesavings.org.
If you would like more information about 529 Savings Plans or saving in general for post please call us. We're more than happy to help. Contact our office at
508-540-3683 or email me directly at email@example.com
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