From the Editor’s Desk

Gary Foreman


Stuck Indoors? Why Not Use Your Time Profitably?

Hello to all my Frugal Friends!

Here we are roughly two thirds of the way through winter. I remember from my years growing up in the frozen northland how confining winter was. Only venturing out when you needed to. We couldn’t binge watch Netflix back then, but we sure would have. So I appreciate ‘cabin fever’ and how it affects us.

Let’s do something about it. Instead of getting depressed, let’s find ways to use this time profitably. Here are a few ideas that will make good use of these indoor times.

How about making your home a little more inviting? You might want to start with The $150 Living Room Makeover. Then move on to the library section on Home Redecorating. You’ll find all kinds of ideas to make your home more comfortable and attractive.

Or, if you’re a gardener, perhaps you’ll enjoy Frugal Seed Starters. In fact, we have a whole section on Seeds and Starters.

Perhaps being stuck inside has made you aware of all the clutter in your home. Then How Much Is Clutter Costing You? should be on your reading list.

So don’t let the winter weather get you down. Use these days when you’re trapped indoors to your advantage!

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!

How Much Food Do You Waste?

Hello to all my Frugal Friends!

I think it’s one of the easiest areas for most families to cut spending – food and groceries. Recently a study by a Penn State professor confirmed what Dollar Stretcher readers have known for years. We waste a lot of the food we buy. And that costs us.

“According to research led by agricultural economics professor Edward Jaenicke of Penn State University, the average American household wastes nearly a third of its food. The value of that waste is estimated at $240 billion annually. When divided among the 128.6 million American households, that’s an average of $1,866 being wasted per household on a yearly basis.” (source:
That’s a lot of bread! (pun intended) And, for most families, money that they can’t afford to waste. That’s why it’s been a topic before on our pages. It might be time for you to consider some of your food/grocery habits. Perhaps some bad ones have crept into your lifestyle.

Most families spend more on housing and transportation than they do on food (unless they have teenagers, then who knows…). But once you’ve done what you can with home and auto, the next biggest category is food. And, the good news is that you’re making food and grocery decisions almost every day. So it’s a great place to find easy savings.

If you wonder whether food waste is causing bloat to your grocery budget, one way to find out is to read 5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste by 20% and put those ideas into practice.

One way to reduce waste is to store food properly. If you’d like to learn more about food storage, this article by Joanne Guidoccio could reduce your grocery bill by up to $500 this year.

Or, if you think that it might be too late to save something, here are some Food-Rescuing Secrets for Avoiding Food Waste. Every dollar ‘rescued’ is a dollar saved!

Since we began TDS in 1996, our motto has always been “living better…for less” – getting value for the food we buy is one of the best ways of accomplishing that.

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!

About the Author

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar website and newsletters in 1996. He's the author of How to Conquer Debt No Matter How Much You Have and he's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money, and Gary shares his philosophy of money here. Gary is available for audio, video or print interviews. For more info see his media page.

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