Debt settlement, also known as debt negotiation, allows you to make one monthly payment, and to get out of debt much faster than by making the minimum monthly payments or by using debt consolidation. With a debt settlement program, negotiators communicate with creditor(s) on your behalf to settle your balances to reduced and "agreed-to" amounts.
In previous articles, we have discussed "How to Find an FTC-Compliant Debt Settlement Company" and "10 Factors that You Must Consider When Choosing a Debt Settlement Company." Let's assume that you have done all of your research and are now in a debt settlement program. While credit card debt can be very expensive and stressful, getting out of debt doesn't have to be.
How would you like to save $50 this week toward your next debt settlement payment? How about several hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars over the next six months? Since all of us buy groceries and household supplies (trash bags, laundry detergent, etc.), we can all save a bundle every week at the supermarket. This article, the first in a series of three, lists 10 easy ways to save money on groceries toward your debt settlement program.
1. Don't buy pre-cut fruit, such as watermelon or pineapple. Instead, buy the entire fruit and save money every time. With pre-cut fruit, you are paying extra for convenience.
2. Instead of buying expensive glass cleaner, buy windshield washer fluid. We compared prices. A 28 oz. size of brand-name glass cleaner can cost as much as $4.49 at the supermarket or hardware store. A 64 oz. size of windshield washer fluid can cost as little as $1.99 at Target.com. That's a difference of $8.27, plus applicable sales tax.
3. Change your eating habits. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less meat. You can buy oranges for as low as 20˘ each when they are in season. Compare that to $3.99 for a pound of 85% lean ground beef.
4. Like pre-cut fruit, bagged salads can be expensive. However, Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle® recently had an incredible price for 12 oz. packages of American and Italian bagged salads. The regular price of $3.39 per bag was reduced to just $1.00. That's a 71% savings!
5. Everyone knows that soda is packed with sugar. Recent studies have also found that diet soda is not really good for us either. As an alternative, you might consider flavored vitamin water. To save money, always buy it on sale and in bulk.
Here is an example of how to save a lot of money: The regular price for a 20 oz. size of flavored vitamin water is $1.49 at Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle®. One week, the vitamin water went on sale. If you bought 10 bottles for $10, you received 4 more bottles for free. That's a net savings of $10.86.
6. You do not need to buy the $12.99 bottle of shampoo that your hair stylist recommends. Expensive does not necessarily mean better. You can buy a 15 oz. bottle of brand-name shampoo for as little as 69˘ when it is on sale.
7. Never pay for a loyalty card. If a loyalty card is not free, don't even consider it. One beauty supply chain charges $25 for its "so-called" loyalty card. Forget it.
8. This money-saving tip has already been mentioned in a previous article, but it is worth repeating. Before you go grocery shopping, be sure to thoroughly read your supermarket's weekly circular. Always take advantage of "buy one, get one free" offers, particularly on higher ticket items like batteries, health and beauty aids, meat, pasta sauce, cleaning supplies, and frozen pizza.
9. Be sure to know how your supermarket calculates "buy one, get one free" offers. Here is an example: Suppose that English muffins regularly sell for $3.99 a package. They go on sale as "buy one, get one free." If you buy just one package, do you pay 50% of $3.99, or the full price? Some supermarkets and drug stores require you to buy both items in order to get them at the "buy one, get one free" price. If you buy just one, you pay the regular price.
10. Shop at grocery stores that offer gas points. The price for a gallon of regular gas in the United States now averages about $3.75. California has the highest prices in the land, with a gallon of regular gas averaging about $4.30.
Suppose that your supermarket's gas points program entitles you to save 10 cents on a gallon of gas for every $50 you spend on groceries, prescriptions, and qualifying gift cards. You spend an average of $600 a month and therefore save $1.20 off a gallon of gas. If you purchase 50 gallons of gas a month, you will save $60. That adds up to $720 in savings over the course of a year. You can use this money for your debt settlement program.
So there you have it, 10 easy ways to save money on groceries toward your debt settlement program. While credit card debt can be expensive and stressful, getting out of debt doesn't have to be. Make saving money a top priority, and you will attract more situations into your life to save even more.