Tag Archives: food costs

16 things you’ll relate to if you’re broke

1. You always have to make excuses when your friends wanna hang out and do things that involve actually spending money…

2. …or you suggest boring activities that won’t cost anything.

3. This is pretty much what your diet consists of. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Every single day. Always.

4. You’ve wondered how necessary it really is to eat every day.

5. You’ve also calculated just how many jobs you can fit into your schedule if you forgo sleep entirely.

6. You don’t know what it feels like to actually have money in your bank account, because as soon as you get paid, it all goes towards your bills.

7. The highlight of your day is finding a quarter on the ground.


8. You’ve gotten crafty when it comes to saving on gas.

9. In fact, you’ve started walking home from work to save on gas. It’s about 10 miles, but no biggie.

10. Forget replacing clothing. If they can be sewn, patched, stapled, etc. you will wear those same pair of jeans until they no longer fit or you die.

11. You never bother paying for full-sized condiments…

12. And all of the toiletries in your bathroom are just tons of free samples.

13. You’ve gotten pretty good at cutting your own hair. Or at least that’s the lie you tell yourself.

14. You don’t get mad at the old lady paying for her groceries with a bag of pennies, because you’re about to do the same.

15. Who needs medical care and fancy doctor office visits when you’ve got the Internet to diagnose your ailments?

16. You want to punch people in the face when they say money can’t buy happiness.


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J.G. Wentworth claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respective owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail information@jgwentworth.com with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Travel expenses you’re definitely paying too much for

Are you getting ready to plan your next vacation? Even if you’re looking to splurge a little, you probably want to save as much money as possible. After all, travel can be expensive, so it’s always great when you can cut costs, yet without sacrificing anything. Whether you’re a novice traveler or a globetrotter, it can be easy to overlook the costs of certain things, especially if they appear to be good deals to begin with. From the early stages of the planning process through the actual vacation itself, be alert when it comes to some of the following:

Airline fees

You found an awesome price to a particular destination and you’re ready to book without thinking twice—but not so fast. Just how cheap will that ticket be once you factor in some extras? Every airline is different, so be sure to research what your ticket will (and will not) include. Most people expect to pay for checked luggage, but did you know that some airlines even impose fees for carry-on bags? When it comes to certain things you can’t avoid, you might end up paying a lot more for your airline ticket than you ever expected and could have easily avoided. Additionally, if you have an airline credit card that gives you perks (such as free lounge access, priority boarding or complimentary checked luggage), you might want to just book a ticket through that airline if you plan on paying for those things anyway. And if you travel often, consider applying for a credit card that offers these types of benefits, if you don’t have one already. Not only can you take advantage of some pretty cool perks, but once you rack up enough points, you can redeem them for cheap (or free!) airfare.


Random hotel charges

There is a lot of stuff you could be paying for when you stay at a hotel without even realizing it, and sometimes just booking the cheapest hotel you find won’t actually save you the most money. Wi-Fi, parking, and even strange things like using the air conditioning (no, seriously) can cost you some extra dough. You could be better off booking the better hotel if it doesn’t impose a crazy amount of miscellaneous fees. Read the terms and conditions thoroughly before booking, and if anything seems unclear, contact the hotel directly.



If you’re not really a self-guided traveler and want to spring for the organized tours, that’s totally fine, but just be sure you aren’t overpaying. Pre-booking your tours and excursions on popular travel websites will almost always cost you more. You’re better off waiting until you arrive and booking directly with tour groups in person, depending on where you’re going and what you want to see. Most travel destinations have a specific list of attractions and sights that every tourist comes to see, and there are often tons of tour operators available to accommodate everyone. If you’d rather book in advance, be sure to shop around first and compare prices from several websites. You’re also better off directly booking with a tour operator, rather than a middleman.



This is one cost that can really sneak up on you. Even if you’re not having fancy dinners every night, the smaller meals and snacks can add up quickly when you’re traveling. If you’re on a tight budget, this can be an easy way to overspend, even if you think you’re being careful. There are a few ways to avoid this, though. Depending on where you’re going and how long your stay is, consider lodging that includes a small kitchen, which can allow you to prepare your own food. This can give you a great opportunity to truly experience the local cuisine. Grocery shopping and cooking may be the things you’re looking to escape, but if you’re traveling internationally, it can actually be a lot of fun. Be sure to also bring some of your own snacks and drinks with you from home, which can help you save a lot of money. If cooking just really isn’t your thing, look into meal plans that might be available at your resort, which could make sense financially. Although the expense is bigger upfront, if you take advantage of it, it can help you save in the end. The same goes for all-inclusive resorts, which have rates that include all of your meals and beverages throughout your stay.


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J.G. Wentworth claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respective owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail information@jgwentworth.com with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

What you’re spending money on vs. what you could be using it for instead

Do you often find that you’re just not saving as much money as you thought you’d be? You’re sticking to a budget, you’re refraining from large and unnecessary purchases, and yet you still aren’t meeting your savings goals. Sometimes, it’s the little purchases that can add up quickly and really sneak up on you. A dollar here and a couple bucks there may not seem like much, but it’s important to look at the big picture and think about how these spending habits can add up over the course over a few months or a year, and what you could have been using that money for instead:

The expense: Coffee at a local cafe

Average cost: $2.70/single basic coffee

The big picture: If you buy one coffee every morning before work (five days a week), that’s $702 a year!

What you could be using that money for instead: If you don’t have dental insurance, the money you saved from ditching that morning coffee habit can possibly give you what you need to afford it, and then some. With the average cost of dental insurance being about $326 annually, saving this money could give you enough to insure yourself and someone else in your household.

Cheaper alternative: Making your own coffee at home might not be as exciting, but it can certainly save you a lot of money. If you’re bored with the same old thing, give your at-home coffee a little extra pizzazz so you won’t feel like you’re missing out. A little caramel drizzle, some vanilla extract, or a dash of cinnamon—these are just some of the great ways you can flavor your coffee to make it taste like a café favorite.


The expense: Weekday lunches

Average cost: $10/meal

The big picture: Eating out every day for lunch when you’re working five days a week can really eat into your budget (yup, another pun) and cost you about $2600 a year. Even if you ate out just twice a week, you’re still talking $1040 annually in lunches.

What you could be using that money for instead: The nationwide average for rent is $1,231 monthly. How would you like one (or potentially two) months of free rent? Cut out those expensive lunches and the savings can be pretty similar.

Cheaper alternative: Making your own lunches at home and bringing them with you will almost always save you money. Making your lunch every morning might be the last thing on your mind, so be prepared by planning ahead. Make it the night before, or cook some food in one shot that can last the entire week. You can also prepare extras for dinner with the intentions of taking your leftovers for lunch the next day.


The expense: Gym membership

Average cost: $45/month

The big picture: Most gym memberships will lock you into an annual contract, so you’re looking at an approximate cost of $540 a year. However, when you also factor in initiation fees and other costs, it can be as much as $800 a year.

What you could be using that money for instead: If you’re in credit card debt and used to paying just the bare minimum each month, consider putting that extra money that would normally go to your gym membership towards one of your credit cards. Anything extra that you can afford to pay each month will help you to save money overall because you’ll pay more into your principal balance. And because you were already spending that money every month, you won’t notice the difference.

Cheaper alternative: You don’t need a gym membership in order to exercise, so consider canceling it if you want one less bill to pay every month. If you know that the gym is the only way you’ll workout, then it could be worth keeping—after all, your health is very important. But explore your other options that are totally free—running outside, going for hikes, playing sports and streaming free workout videos at home are just some of the many ways you can get in your daily sweat sesh without spending a penny.


The expense: Cable television

Average cost: $80/month

The big picture: Cable television usually isn’t a month-to-month thing, so you’re looking at an average cost of $960 a year.

What you could be using that money for instead: How about a nice cruise every year instead? The average ticket price per person, per day is $168. That means if you nixed the cable television, you could potentially have the money for a five-night cruise with some cash remaining.

Cheaper alternative: Downgrade your cable plan by only paying for the channels you watch frequently. Better yet? Ditch cable altogether in lieu of streaming video options, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video. You’ll still be able to watch a lot of your favorite movies and television shows, but for a fraction of the cost.


The expense: Landline phone

Average cost: $22/month

The big picture: Just like with cable television, landline phone lines are usually something that people continuously pay for, month after month. After a year, you might spend approximately $264 on something you’re not getting much (or any) use out of.

What you could be using that money for instead: Saving just a couple hundred bucks every year can make a big difference, even if you just splurge and use it for something fun, and something you never would have spent money on otherwise. For example, you could spend the night in a luxury resort or you can celebrate a special occasion by going out for a nice dinner.

Cheaper alternative: No need to pay for both a cell phone and a landline, especially if you never even use your landline and the only phone calls you receive are from annoying telemarketers. A cell phone may not necessarily be cheaper, but if you already have one and you’re unwilling to part with it, cutting out that landline phone will save you money overall because you’ll have one less phone bill to worry about.


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J.G. Wentworth claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respective owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail information@jgwentworth.com with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

8 ways to stretch your dollars the farthest when you grocery shop

Want to make sure you are stretching your dollars the farthest when you shop for groceries? Considering how often most of us go grocery shopping, the reality is that even a little bit saved each week could add up to hundreds, even potentially thousands, of dollars over the course of a year. Here are eight ways to make sure you are stretching your dollars the farthest each and every time you shop for groceries, starting with:

Shop online for coupons before going to the grocery store

Before you even go to a grocery store, you should check out some of the many online coupon sites that can lead to substantial savings on groceries. These websites include Coupons.com, Redplum.com, and SmartSource.com, to name just a few.

Join your supermarket’s loyalty program

Signing up for a grocery store’s Loyalty Program, and checking in regularly to see what promotions they are running, will add substantially to your bottom line savings.

Plan meal selections around food discount opportunities

Most folks make a list of the foods they want to eat, then shop for them. Why not go to the grocery store or online coupon site first, see what promotions or advertisements are running, and plan your menu accordingly?

Learn which store consistently has the best prices on your most commonly purchased foods

Have a list of items you always purchase, such as cereal, eggs, milk, apples, etc.? Visit a few stores in your neighborhood and identify the ones that consistently have the best prices on these foods.

Shop for foods in season

The more seasonal a food is, the more likely it can be found at a lower price – and will taste better besides.

Slice meats, fruits, and vegetables yourself

You’ll save anywhere from 33% to 50% if you avoid purchasing pre-sliced fruits and vegetables and avoid deli counters.

Purchase food at “big-box” stores

Big-box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Walmart, among others, offer food items in large packages that can lead to substantial savings over time.

Consider buying meat, poultry, and fish in bulk

Most folks resist buying meat, chicken, and fish in bulk because they’re concerned about freshness. But as long your freezer is set at the proper level even these foods can be stored safely for substantial amounts of time.

We hope these eight tips on stretching your dollars the furthest will help you keep as much of your money as possible where it belongs – in your pocket. Our company, J.G. Wentworth, is a firm believer in the adage “a penny saved is a penny earned”; it is also our hope that all our customers, past and present, become as financially prudent as possible, and develop shopping habits that lead to substantial savings over time. If you are looking for financial assistance or for cash now out of your structured settlement or annuity payments, please call us today at 877-227-4713.