Money in the News: Money and Health, Saving on Food, Manage Multiple Debts, Social Security Disability Depleting? posts about 5 ways paying off debt can help you live longer.

According to statistics released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, four of the five top causes of death in America — heart disease, stroke, cancer and lower respiratory diseases — can be exacerbated by stress. Paying off your debt means reducing the financial stress in your life.

Man Vs. Debt has an older (but good) article about saving money in your fridge, which happens to be a hefty money drain for most Americans.

From Heather: Freeze them and then reheat for lunch or dinner on a day you don’t feel like cooking.
From Lara: Freeze! Right after I get done cooking, sometimes before eating, I pack it up and freeze the extra.

The Simple Dollar posts about how to effectively reduce your food budget.

Use a meal plan. A meal plan is the easiest way there is to make sure you’re constructing a sensible grocery list. A meal plan is just a list of the meals you intend to have over the next week or so. From that, you can figure out what items you need to make all of those meals possible.

Credit Sesame posts about how to manage multiple sources of debt.

The first thing you should do when thinking about taking out another loan is to determine your total monthly payments for current outstanding debt and the amount you’re looking to borrow. Then, figure what percentage of your monthly income would go towards paying off that debt.

MSN Money posts an article about Social Security Disability running dry by 2016. I’ve had a lot of people debate with me on Social Security, some saying it’s fine, others saying it’s in dire straights. What are your thoughts?

What wasn’t reported so much as glossed over was the fact that the Social Security Disability Insurance program’s trust fund will be exhausted by 2016.

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Money Drain: $90 Lost by Forgetting About an Auto-Renewal

In college I frequented several book stores like Barnes and Nobles. I thought to save money I would agree to a membership to one of these book stores because I was always looking at books and music. After a time I was decidedly more frugal than before and stopped most of my spending except for necessities. What I didn’t do, however, was remove one of my auto-renewals, namely the book store membership. When renewal came around, I only had a few bucks in my account (poor college student), and the renewal came through, overdrafting my account. Not realizing this, and next day being pay day, I had a few other scheduled transactions come out on top of the overdraft, resulting in 2 more overdrafts complete with fees. Overall it cost me about $90 for a subscription I no longer use, and was certainly not getting my moneys worth now 🙁

– Submitted by: Emily K

Lesson Learned:
Auto renewals can be tricky. On one hand, I have no problem with them because I keep track of all auto-renewals in my MS Money. Things like, domain renewals, hosting fees, car insurance premiums, etc. On the other hand, if you don’t keep track of them, they can really bite you in the butt unsuspectingly. So really the advice here is, if you keep track, then auto-renewals are fine. If you don’t keep track, then it’s certainly not in your best interest to participate in them.

Amount Flushed Down the Money Drain: $90

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Money Tip and Guest Post: Time to Cut the Fat. How you can save over 80 cents a pound by cutting your own meat

This is an article written by a good friend of mine, Tim.  As long as I’ve known him he’s been sort of a meat and cheese connoisseur, and he’s always looking for ways to save money on bulk meat purchases.

Time to cut the fat.

One easy way to save money on beef is to spend a few minutes with a knife. No, robbing people as they come out of the store is not an efficient way. Knowing how to trim primal cuts of meat yourself is much better, and much less likely to result in jail time. Buying a primal cut means the butcher doesn’t have to spend time trimming the meat down, and the savings gets passed down to you.

2009_01_14-TrimFat2For instance: I saw beef brisket on super sale the other week for around $5 a lb. That’s about the best price I’ve seen around here for “trimmed” brisket. Alternatively, I decided to pick up a whole brisket the other day for the USUAL price of just over $2.50 a lb. I spent about 15 minutes with a knife at home, trimmed out just over 5 and a half pounds of fat, and even assuming I just throw away the fat (instead of making it into tallow), that means I’ve saved just over 80 cents a pound over the super sale prices.

Now imagine I was a smart consumer and shopped around for deals on the whole brisket so that we were comparing sale prices to sale prices, and the savings would be even larger. That’s also ignoring the fact that I would probably have ended up trimming down the store bought cut even more because I’m picky like that.

Another great example of a cut that you can save a lot of money on is beef tenderloin. Costco sells the PISMO (peeled, side meat on). Cut tenderloin? ~$19 a lb. PISMO? just over half that much. Again, that’s without doing any real shopping around.

The list goes on and on. Do a bit of research, watch a youtube video or two on how to trim primal cuts, and you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save.

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