I recently had the pleasure of speaking with consumer-savings expert, Andrea Woroch who has been featured on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, ABC News NOW to discuss money saving shopping, dining and travel tips for summer!
Andrea Woroch – Image via Twitter
Candace Rose: With gas prices at an all time high, do you have any suggestions on saving money at the pump?
Andrea Woroch: "With gas prices on the rise, families need to look at their fuel consumption and determine if there are areas/trips they can avoid or plan out routes to hit multiple trips in one drive. Otherwise, here are some ways to save at the pump:
– Pay for gas with cash. Most gas stations advertise fuel prices per gallon at 10-cents less for cash paying customers.
– Shop online. These days, you can buy just about anything online including groceries. With the ability to compare prices for multiple stores all from your home, the internet will help you reduce trips to stores around town. Look for free shipping coupons at FreeShipping.org
to save on delivery costs and really maximize your fuel savings.
– Look for supermarket gas rewards. The national grocery chain, Kroger, just announced an increase in the gas rewards programs they are launching nationwide. Look for deals of up to $1 off per gallon at participating stores. Other food stores like Ralphs and Stop & Shop offer deals like 10-cents off per gallon at Shell stations. So find out what types of gas rewards programs your local grocers offer and take advantage of the deals.
– Use your smartphone to find cheap gas. Apps like GasBuddy and CheapGas will help you find the least expensive gas stations in your areas and along your route. Carticipate will help you coordinate carpools with neighbors and fellow community neighbors."
CR: How about for families that will be traveling this summer by car, what can they do to save money?
AW: Family road trip savings:
– Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks so you can avoid multiple stops.
– Give yourself time to get to your destination. Speeds exceeding 60 mph forces your vehicle to overcome stronger wind resistance and burns more fuel. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.
– Get cash before hitting the road (See tip above)
– Give generic a go. Name brand gas stations like Shell and Chevron get their fuel from the same refineries as generic brands which are usually 10-cents cheaper."
CR: What about for those traveling by air? How can they save money?
AW: "Airfare savings tips:
– Eat before flights and pack snacks to avoid overpriced airport and inflight food prices.
– Compare prices among several airlines before booking and try to get the rate through the airline directly verse discount travel sites like Orbitz so that should your plans change, you don't have to pay two separate fees.
– Consider baggage fees and airline extras when booking a trip to understand the total/final cost of the flight. For example, Delta charges $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for each additional. Southwest on the other hand provides each traveler with two free checked bags. Take everything into consideration when planning the trip.
– Pack light and avoid checked bags all together especially for a family traveling together, that can get expensive!
– Sign up for MasterCard PriceAssure program which will track flight itinerary for you and help you get an airline credit should the price of the flight drop before your trip. For more info, visit: www.mastercard.com/priceassure
– Travel on off-peak days. Flying out on Tuesday or Wednesday will be less expensive than flights departing on Thursdays and Fridays.
– Opt for destinations experiencing their off-season to enjoy cheaper airfare, hotel, food and activities like ski destinations for winter which boast tons of sunny activities the whole family will enjoy."
CR: Do you have any tips on saving money at the grocery store?
AW: "Grocery store savings:
– Plan meals according to weekly store sales and only cook with/buy produce that's in season. Shop for produce at farmer's markets and street vendors for the best prices!
– Pair coupons with store deals. Find manufacturer coupons online at sites like CouponSherpa.com
and stack those with store coupons found in circulars or on the supermarket's website. When pairing both a manufacturer and store coupon on a sale item, you can buy the good for close to nothing!
– Opt for generic especially when buying organic foods.
– Stock up at warehouse for 30-percent less than grocery store prices. Just make sure you don't buy something that will go bad before the expiration date and make sure you have the room to store everything you buy. For instance, stocking up on large frozen food bags may seem like a great deals but if you don't have room in your freezer then it will go bad.
– Use discount gift cards available for stores like Walmart, Target and even some grocery chains for savings of up to 15% off. Sites like GiftCardGranny.com help you find the best price from multiple discount gift card resellers. You can even sign up for an gift card alert so you never miss out on any big discounts at favorite store."
Gift Card Granny – GiftCardGranny.Com
CR: How can we save money when dining out at restaurants?
AW: "Restaurant savings:
– Dining out is a luxury that many American consumers have cut back on through the last few years since it gets expensive when done in excess. Of course, cooking and preparing your own meals is the cheapest way to go but sometimes we want to treat ourselves!
Here are some tips to follow when dining out to save:
– Look for those that offer family friendly deals like kids eat free with each adult entree purchased. Otherwise, look for which restaurants offer early-bird or happy hour specials and dine during those select hours to save on food and drinks.
– Don't pay for drinks! Drink water instead and your bill will be significantly cheaper.
– Skip the appetizer and/or dessert. Do you really need the extra calories anyway?
– Look for discount gift cards from Restaurant.com
. This popular online service lists participating restaurants based on your zip code and offers discount gift cards that can be printed right from your home computer. What's more, sites like CouponSherpa.com
offer coupon codes for up to an additional 80% off so you can get that gift certificate for even less! Some diners spend just $2 for $25 worth of food! See here for some current offers: http://www.couponsherpa.com/online-coupons/store/restaurant-com-coupon-codes/"