Category Archives: Frugal
It seems like everyone is crazy about protein these days. “High in protein” is the newest selling feature, replacing “low in fat” or “low-sodium” in popularity and seemingly in importance. Protein is essential to the building of lean muscle and fueling your body in a healthy and efficient way. More recently, you’ll hear of high protein diets that are often utilized by those who want to lose weight.
No matter the motivation behind your high-protein preferences, whether its weight-loss or body building, keeping your lifestyle choice affordable is often a struggle. It seems like everything that tends to be high in protein has a proportionally high price tag.
If you are looking for ways to cut the fat on your grocery bill as well as your body, try these thrifty tips:
Embrace the Egg
Eggs are the best bang for your buck when it comes to protein content for your dollar. You can get a dozen for under $2 and can cook them in a variety of ways, from scrambled, to boiled, to fried, and in dishes like omelets, quiches, frittatas, and more. If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, limit how many yolks you use for each meal, and when necessary, increase your ratio of egg whites to yolks. If you don’t like the idea of throwing the yolks away, your family cat or dog will benefit from the healthy fats they contain.
Buy in Bulk
Whether it comes to buying lean beef, chicken breasts or nuts, you’ll often find that the more you buy at a time, the better the unit price. If you are a single or small household, it can seem backwards to buy twenty breasts at a time, but it could mean a lot of savings over the longer term. Freeze whatever lean meats you won’t eat within the next couple of days and defrost the night before you plan on preparing them. As for the nuts, keep them in an air-tight container in your pantry. This idea can be further compounded when coupled with a sale or promotion at the time of your purchase.
Take a Shake
We know that protein powder can seem very expensive, but the amount of protein you can get from just two scoops is incomparable to anything else you will get at that price. The great part is that it is both portable and easy to prepare, meaning that you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money in assembling it into a meal. Most choose to have a shake as a post-workout meal, a quick breakfast to go, or an easy lunch. Remember that most protein shakes can be treated as meal replacements, and if you calculate the price of one as a meal, you’ll find that it is the best deal in town!
Fall in Love with the Legumes
Legumes like beans are not just a great source of protein, they are also very high in protein while having a very low sale price. Whether you use the dried or canned variety, experiment with meals that incorporate these nutritional powerhouses such as soups, chilli, burritos, spreads and more. Don’t forget about the versatile chick pea or garbanzo bean which is the base of popular hummus. Try making your own unique versions at home to use as a fun dip or spread.
Feel comfortable with your high-protein grocery list by adapting some of these tips in your weekly visit to the store. Losing weight shouldn’t be made even more difficult by having it affect your personal financial bottom line.
The average American moved homes every 5 years, quite frequently if you ask me. Very often these moves are motivated by finances- either a promising, better-paying job has popped up in a town far away, the opportunity of cashing in the rise in equity in your current home, or loss of income prompting a move to a cheaper property.
No matter whether you think you are making money or saving it, remember that the move itself comes at a cost. So if you think that this move will improve your financial situation, also consider the real price of moving.
Here are some costs that some people forget to add to their spreadsheet of relocation expenses:
- Real Estate Agent Cut
If you sold your home for $500,000, there’s no way that you are getting that full amount deposited into your bank account. Before you even get a chance to pop open that bottle of champagne, your real estate agent would have taken his or her cut, anywhere from 2% to 6% of the total selling price. If your selling agent worked with another agent to bring in a buyer, they split the commission between themselves, but unfortunately you won’t see any of it.
- Land Transfer Tax
Land Transfer tax is the fee collected by the municipal government for transferring the name of the property deed to the new owners. This, unlike the real estate fee, is covered by the buyers, not the sellers of the property, and can range from 1% to 2.5% of the purchase price, depending on the geographical area.
There’s no way around it, the sale and purchase of a house comes with the need to hire a real estate lawyer to accomplish a few things among which will be the checking and transfer of title, and the closing. Though some decide to go without a real estate agent, the lawyer is an indispensable expense which you cannot get omit and can cost you anywhere between 1.5% to 4% of the sale price. There are benefits to more intimately involving your lawyer into the process of buying and selling your home. He or she can help avoid situations in which there is an issue with the brokerage commission, or unclear clauses in the offer or purchasing agreement.
- A Moving Team
The price of the actual physical move is also something to take into consideration when doing your math and seeing whether it’s financially feasible for you to change your living situation. When you add up the cost of the boxes, hiring a moving team, renting a truck or van, gas, and more, don’t be shocked if it ends up being more than four thousand dollars if the move is interstate. Local moves tend to be cheaper, probably half the price, but still a considerable sum of money. This price can become even more substantial if you need to hire movers specializing in moving heavy objects and pianos, or you have large fragile pieces that need special attention.
Of course, every situation is a little different, with those upsizing needing to buy more furniture, while those downsizing considering the rental of additional storage lockers to keep their excess items and furniture which won’t fit in their new home. Some houses are sold without appliances, or the existing ones are old and need to be replaced. Case proven, it costs money to move, and that doesn’t even cover the direct cost of the house or condo you are purchasing. If you still are thinking that it’s time to shoot the coop, make sure that you understand the full financial implications related to changing your address.
No matter what industry you work in, there’s no denying that the business world is constantly changing. For most businesses, it’s quite unlikely that the techniques that got the best results 30 years ago would still do so today, and as a result, we’ve seen many once-iconic brands like Kodak and Blockbuster disappear entirely, replaced by newer companies that better embrace the modern world.
So how can you ensure that this doesn’t happen to your company? Here are three key tips that will ensure your business doesn’t get left behind.
Embrace New Technologies
One of the first things you should do to ensure your company’s continued success is to take advantage of new industry technologies as they emerge. For example, proximity warning detection systems are vital in underground mining. These tech innovations help prevent accidents and other problems, which creates a safer environment for miners and allows for greater productivity. As a result, mines that embrace the latest, most up-to-date versions of this technology are making an investment for the future. On the other hand, mines that fail to use these technological advances put both their employees and their business at risk.
While your own company’s adoption of new technologies may not have a direct impact on employee safety, they are still essential for your company to achieve better results and not get left behind the competition. Everything from productivity and communications apps to streamlined manufacturing tools can benefit your company in different ways, allowing you to gain an edge on the competition and get better results.
Don’t Forget the Net
As part of your embracing of new technologies, it is especially important that you don’t neglect the marketing opportunities provided by the internet. These days, the vast majority of consumers look up a business or product online before making a final purchasing decision. They’re looking for reviews, information, and more—and without a web presence, your company could very well be entirely overlooked.
It’s best to start with the basics by creating a simple, user-friendly website that provides the basic information a potential customer would want to learn when visiting your site (such as services provided, pricing, business hours, etc.). A listing on Google Maps can also do a world of good for your company, as this provides an easy way for potential customers to check your hours and location, as well as leave positive reviews for your business.
Of course, there’s also social media, email marketing, and other digital tools to consider. While just about every business should have a presence on Facebook these days, it is important that you only use social media to share relevant messages about your business that will appeal to your customers and help drive business—don’t just share funny cat videos!
Analyze and Adapt
The ability to continually analyze and adapt your methods may ultimately be the most important thing you can do to guarantee the continued success of your business. A failure to adapt is what destroyed Blockbuster, while Netflix’s switch from a DVD rental service to online streaming has allowed it to remain a major player in the home entertainment industry.
Because of this, it is essential that you consistently monitor the trends in your industry. Be aware of what services or methods are becoming outdated, or which new technologies present opportunities or threats to your business. As you analyze your changing industry and make adaptations when needed, you’ll be better prepared to keep your company relevant in the years to come—even if this requires a dramatic overhaul of some of your current practices.
There’s no telling what the future might bring—as the cliche goes, the only constant is change. But as you embrace new technologies to streamline and improve your business methods, fully implement internet technologies in your marketing, and continually monitor industry trends so you can adapt when necessary, you’ll ensure that your company never gets left behind.
Going to the movies used to be a big deal, as it meant a night on the town, dressed up, seeing a newly released movie that had not been seen yet. While the Hollywood premiere may not take place for all of us these days, movies still hold a special place in entertainment, much as sports and music have as well. While a movie used to only cost a quarter and now we are paying over ten dollars for premium movies and times, and even more for 3-D shows.
According to a recent study by MooseRoots, a genealogy data site from Graphiq, calculated what the inflation-adjusted cost of the movie ticket would be in 2016, taken from the average cost of a movie ticket since 1940 from the Motion Picture Association of America. The comparison may be somewhat surprising:
1940 – Cost $0.24 (real 2016 cost $4.09)
1950 – Cost $0.50 (real 2016 cost $4.97)
1960 – Cost $0.60 (real 2016 cost $4.87)
1970 – Cost $1.55 (real 2016 cost $10.00)
1980 – Cost $2.69 (real 2016 cost $8.77)
1990 – Cost $4.23 (real 2016 cost $8.08)
2000 – Cost $5.39 (real 2016 cost $7.66)
2010 – Cost $7.89 (real 2016 cost $8.71)
2016 – $8.70
As you can see using the 2016 cost from 1940 of $4.09 compared to $8.70 now, there is a 213% increase, but when you think about it, is only a few dollars over the course of the past 76 years.
Perhaps another study may not say the same for concessions however, where in addition to the cost of the movie ticket, one can expect to pay $6 for a small popcorn or soda, or $10 for a cocktail if your local theater sells liquor. Not only is it an expensive date, but if you have an entire family going to see a (probably) mediocre movie, along with some snacks and drinks could cost upwards of $100. With matinee pricing being considerably less, or seeing a movie during a week day during later hours, could save half of the average ticket price. You could always wait until it comes to a second-run theater, or with the amount of home theaters that can rival the real deal, rent the movie at home when it comes out for a few dollars and curl up and enjoy with the family.