Cheap Home Entertainment With Redbox

DVD RentalYou’ve seen the big red kiosks in your local grocery store or even McDonalds. Redbox has about 24,900 of these cool machines. You pick from a list of new release movies, slide your debit card (we hate credit cards here) and the automated machine slips the DVD into your hand. It truly is the fully-automated video store experience.

Just A Dollar A Day:

Of course if Redbox was expensive we wouldn’t be writing about it but, wow, just a dollar a day? Hey, use that dollar you saved by not buying that lottery ticket.

Watch A Free Redbox Movie Free Every Month:

If you sign up to receive text alerts from Redbox they’ll send you a promo code each month for a free DVD rental. As if it wasn’t already cheap enough, am I right? To get text alerts just text the word REDBOX to 727272.

Follow Redbox On Facebook:

If you ‘like’ the Redbox Facebook fan page you won’t miss their special promotions and sweepstakes.

There you go, another fantastic quick money tip from Don’t ya just love us?

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Save Money Grocery Shopping And Stop Over Spending With E-Mealz

We’ve been using the *E-Mealz menu planning system; for about a year now so I decided to finally blog about it. E-Mealz has literally saved us hundreds of dollars on our grocery bills. It saves us money, it frees up time, we eat healthier and we now have a wider range of dinner options than ever before. How’s that for an endorsement? I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about E-mealz. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s only $5 a month! (Subscribe to our newsletter for subscriber only tips and savings to save even more).

Getting The Most From E-Mealz:

When you combine E-mealz with coupons the savings can be huge. With weekly meal planning to this degree you can also search for and plan other savings such as sale items and coupons. To me, it’s the organized meal planning that makes this system the best available. The time saving alone is worth the small $5/month investment.

Now let me brag about my wife Kim for a second. She is absolutely hands down the best cook I’ve ever seen. She can take almost anything out of the kitchen and turn it into the best meal you’ve ever eaten. But we all have limitations. She has a very large list of ‘regular meals’ she use to make but… we’ve been married for over 27 years and that’s a lot of cycles. What E-Mealz has done for us is help that list of menu options grow to an unlimited number. It’s actually pretty exciting to try new meals every week while eating healthy and inexpensive dinners.

Tip – Mixing It Up

My wife and I don’t always use the exact menu every week. We have been members for a long time so we have a bunch of previous menus stored on our computer. If we see something with broccoli (yuck!), for example, we simply go into our past menus and pick a different meal to replace that day’s dinner.

E-Mealz Options:

E-Mealz offers a wide variety of options for stores and menus.

  1. Current store options for E-Mealz menus are Aldi, Kroger, PublixU, Walmart, Ralphs as well as an ‘any store’ option.
  2. Meal menu options for E-Mealz are regular menu, the Points System Meal Plan, Low-Carb, Low Fat and even Vegetarian.
  3. You can plan your weekly meals with either a Family Meal Plan or a Meal Plan for two.
  4. E-Mealz also has holiday dinner and vacation menu options.


*Start Saving On Your Grocery Bill Today!

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Who Plays The Lottery? If You Are Broke Then You Probably Do.

The Last Mega Millions lottery results of 2010What is the lottery? There are many thoughts when it comes to the lotto. Some consider the lottery gambling, others think of it as entertainment. I actually heard someone call it an investment once. Crazy, right? The saddest one I’ve ever heard is that the lottery is their last chance. I agree with Dave Ramsey, “Gambling [lottery] is a tax on the poor and people who can’t do math“.

Lottery players who earn $13k per year spend an average of $1100 of their income per year on tickets. They contribute 82% of all lottery revenue! (Cornell University)

According to a study conducted by Cornell University [PDF link], “the poor are relatively more likely to see the lottery as a financial investment, and relatively less likely to play for entertainment”. A survey by the Consumer Federation of America and Primerica (1999) indicates that the poor are more likely to view the lottery as an effective financial investment tool.

Pathetic Odds:

The odds of winning the lottery jackpot can vary widely depending on a number of factors but according to Wikipedia, in a 6-from-49 lotto the odds are 1 in 13,983,816. To put this into perspective; If a person buys one lottery ticket every week for 250,000 years they would probably win one time. Mega Millions is even twelve times harder to win (1 chance in 175,711,536). The problem? Lottery players aren’t doing the math.

Stupid Spending:

Have you ever heard this statement, “Why not play, someone has to win”? Please don’t take financial advice from this person. We’ve all heard the stories of lottery ticket winners going broke years after the huge windfall and I’m going to tell you how to avoid being one of those poor souls – GUARANTEED! Ready? DON’T BUY THE TICKET.

Side Note: State Governments are fully aware of the effect and financial impact the lottery has on the poor but lotteries are a very lucrative source of state revenue. Shame on the Government for taking advantage of lower income citizen’s ignorance and desperation. Don’t even get me started about the casinos.

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Hooray, I’m $38,000 Upside Down In My Home Mortgage

upside down home loanLike many states, Michigan took a huge hit in the housing market and the mortgage industry. As of December 2010, according to my local township, I’m $38 thousand dollars upside down in my home loan. In other words, I owe that much more for the loan than the home is worth.

What To Do With Your Home Mortgage

What should I do? Nothing! Did you notice the ‘hooray’ in the blog title? I have no plans to sell or refinance the house so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that my taxes went down two times in a row over the last two years. The house still has the ‘living value’ as it always did to me.

We keep hearing about short sales and people just walking away from their homes because they’re so far in the red. Why? If the home was worth (fill in the blank) $___ each month ‘to you’ before the home value crashed, and you plan on staying there for a long while, what does it really matter?

But I’m In The Red With My Home Loan

Psychologically we tend to think, “I can buy a house twice as big for the same money”. Admittedly your net worth is taking a hit but, again, if you’re not seeking a loan what does it matter? If you simply can no longer afford the house for whatever reason, that’s one thing but we are still obligated to pay the debt even though the home decreased in value. There are no guarantees when it comes to investments and that’s what buying a home is. We’ve just been pretty spoiled with home values for years and reality is sometimes a hard pill to swallow.

The Future Housing Market?

As far as I’m concerned, I hope my home value, and taxes, continue to drop. Let the government squirm and struggle for a change. I’ll find somewhere more deserving to put that money.

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Number One New Year Resolution – Pay Down That Home Loan

2011 New Year In New YorkI’ve spent most of the day blogging around finance sites and, of course, New Year’s resolutions are at the top of the subject right now. Paying down home mortgages is a huge goal this time of year.

I’m on an accelerated payment plan right now that pays the house off in 12 more years (15 years total on a $150,000 loan).

Big Blessing: December the first I was blessed with an early Christmas present when I learned my winter property taxes dropped drastically. So much that now my payments are $130/month less.

The Plan: What to do with that savings? Hummm, you guessed it, I’m tossing that into principle payments to knock out this home mortgage even sooner.

Want More? More on the accelerated payment plan soon, you’ll be very interested in the benefits with this tactic if you are not already familiar with it.

A Year Later: What does a Pro Blogger make for his New Years Resolution

Stop Feeling Guilty About Going Out To Eat With

Dining Out For LessToday this frugal blogger gave away a nice meal at a great restaurant – and I paid for it! I didn’t pay much though. No surprise there, right?

My youngest daughter is staying with us in Michigan with her husband and my grandson. I wanted to give them something before they go back to Texas in a couple of days and * fit the bill perfectly.

My oldest daughter turned me onto * a couple of months ago. I recently decided to become an affiliate once I became impressed with the huge savings. I can actually take my wife to a decent restaurant; buy so much food we have enough for lunch the next day almost as cheap as a trip to McDonald’s.

Here’s how it works. You log into * and pick out a restaurant in your area. Over 15,000 restaurants nationwide participate so the choice can be very nice in populated areas. You simply buy and print your certificate and take it with you whenever you decide to use it. You DO NOT have to choose a date at the time of purchase.

Here’s where it can seem confusing but it’s really not. Your certificate has a face value. Different restaurants have different offers but, for example, my daughter went to IHOP restaurant today with her family. Their bill came out to about $36.00 which included a built-in gratuity so no tip was necessary. She was obligated to spend at least $10 over and above the $25 discount the certificate provided. So for about $11 they were able to enjoy a $36.00 meal. Yes, I paid the $11. 🙂 Thursday my wife is taking her mother and sister to a nice Mexican restaurant using a $25 certificate.

One more thing you should know about * Once you sign up and get on their mailing list you begin receiving all kinds of cool promo offers. Those two examples I mentioned above? I paid $2 each for the $25 savings. That’s what I call A Real Discount! So give them a try. Go to * (yes, that’s my affiliate link) and stop feeling guilty about going out to eat every now and then. Thousand of popular restaurants. Fo

Corporate Christmas Gifts Just For The Asking

AT&T Christmas ornamentThis morning, Christmas Eve, I decided I wanted a little corporate gift from the utility Santa. I thought a little experiment was in order and it was just a matter of a few phone calls.

First I called my energy company, DTE, and asked for a Christmas gift. It turns out DTE isn’t in the cheery Christmas mood because they wouldn’t budge. No worries, only a few minutes of time wasted.

Next on the list was AT&T. Jackpot! With almost no haggling and only three transfers I got a $50 credit on our next bill. Merry Christmas AT&T!

Next was our satellite company, Direct TV. Not exactly a jackpot but I did walk away with free Showtime and HBO for three months with the purchase of Cinemax for twelve bucks. Not bad, three premium channels for 90 days at just $36. Thanks Direct TV but you just get a Happy Holidays.

I’m not finished yet, I still have a couple calls to make but I was so excited I just had to get this posted. So give it a try, call your utility companies and ask for a Christmas gift, you just may be surprised at the response.