Thanksgiving is sometimes known as the “season of plenty,” a celebration associated with a bountiful fall harvest. But Thanksgiving also serves as a reminder that “bounty” can quickly turn into “waste” when it comes to cooking more food than your hungry holiday crowd can possibly eat, and then dumping what’s left in the trash can. In fact, according to an article in U.S. News and World Report, Americans end up throwing away about 25 percent of the food they prepare on this feast day.
Have you noticed how more and more of your grocery budget is spent on meat these days? If so, you’re not alone, and for good reason: Meat prices are rising faster than any other food group, with the price of beef, pork, poultry and fish all recently reaching record highs. The price of ground beef, for example, is up more than 75 percent in just the past five years. That’s enough to give a cheapskate like me a grocery shopping phobia.
When you write about personal finance for a living, lots of folks ask for your advice about their own money issues and problems. That places me in a difficult position because, while I’d like to help, in many cases there are just too many variables when it comes to offering good financial advice to people I barely know. And then there’s the “How dare you!” factor. That’s especially common when you primarily give advice about the spending side of people’s finances, like I do.
Jeff Yeager - aka "the Ultimate Cheapskate" - is AARP's savings expert and host of the weekly Web show The Cheap Life, produced by AARP and airing on YouTube. He's also the author of four popular books about frugal living, including his most recent, How to Retire the Cheapskate Way. Jeff will be a guest on AARP Live on Thursday, June 19, so we sat down with him in advance to chat about retirement planning and living, cheapskate-style.
It's the kind of news story that makes national headlines every year or two: A person of seemingly modest means secretly amasses a small (or not so small) fortune while leading a frugal lifestyle, only to reveal that wealth by giving it all away to charity.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, seems to be starting earlier every year. First we saw stores opening to hordes of shoppers at 4 a.m. Friday, then at 3 a.m., a few years back. Now some big-box retailers aren't even waiting that long. They're opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, hoping families will eat and run to the nearest mall.
This could very well be the year when the Grinch steals Christmas, at least in terms of the gift-giving intentions of some adults. According to a new poll from the personal finance website GoBankingRates.com, 40 percent of some 1,500 survey respondents say they won't be buying any holiday gifts this year. Blame the economy and the shaky finances of many Americans.
A couple of years ago I wrote an article for AARP about simple ways to reduce the cost of heating your home. After reading it, my wife promptly added a number of the energy-saving tips I'd suggested to my "honey-do" list, including installing three programmable thermostats around our house.
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