Ten Surprising Facts Supermarkets Won't Tell You

For most families, food budgets are relatively elastic. Compared to fixed expenses like mortgages or car loans, they're the area where you have the most choice about how much to spend each month.

Think so? Think again! Visit the supermarket, and you'll be subjected to a barrage of proven tactics, all designed to encourage over-spending.

Check out this article from MSN Health and Fitness, listing 10 Things Your Grocery Store Doesn't Want You to Know.

It'll help you wise up to the many ways the market is after your wallet.

Our favorite:

There’s nothing haphazard about the layout of your grocery store. ... Walk in the front doors and chances are you’re faced immediately with hard-to-resist items (not on your list) like fresh-cut flowers or just-baked loaves of bread. Just try walking past them en route to a carton of milk without tossing something extra into your cart. In fact, research has shown that 60 percent to 70 percent of what ends up in our carts is unplanned.

10 Things Your Grocery Store Doesn't Want You to Know

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Track Freezer Inventory With Magnets

A freezer can be a powerful kitchen friend for food storage, menu planning and convenience, but to use the freezer to best advantage, you have to know what's inside.

Okay, so our free printable freezer inventory form isn't for everybody.

Check out this clever freezer inventory solution from blogger Lunch In A Box: refrigerator magnets.

Using magnetic freebies, color photos from the weekly food ads and a bit of creative inspiration, she's created a simple, visual reminder system to keep track of freezer contents:

magnets for freezer inventory

Magnets To Track Freezer Inventory

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Ten First Steps Toward A Lighter Lifestyle

Celebrate Earth Day--and lighten your footstep on our planet--with these ten first steps toward more-sustainable living, from LighterFootstep.com.

We liked the idea of slaying energy vampires: those small, silent electric devices that feed on a trickle of power even when not in use. Unplug them, or invest in a power strip with an on-off button to make it easy to stop the power from flowing when it's not needed:

Ten First Steps Toward Lighter Living

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Organize Finances With A Money Day

Finance blogger J.D. Roth has an intriguing concept for better financial organization: a Money Day.

Using a vacation day during the work-week (so that you'll be able to visit or call financial institututions), spend 8 hours doing all those put-it-off financial chores. On Money Day, you might set up money management software, close dormant accounts, or call credit card issuers to request lower interest rates.

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Yard Sale Shopping 101: Smart Tips!

Ah, springtime! With the first day of spring, we look forward to gentle breezes, warm sunshine ... and yard sales.

Here at OrganizedHome.com, we encourage holding a yard sale as a great way to cut clutter and score some cash.

Intoxicated by the season, though, it's time to share a buyer's guide. Brush up on your yard sale shopping strategies with these great tips from Curbly.com:

Yard Sale Shopping 101

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Organize Coupons With A Coupon Organizer

make a coupon organizerWith food prices on the rise, are you thinking about coupon clipping? Done right--and done organized--using coupons can add up to big savings at the supermarket.

The catch? You have to keep them organized.

Now there's help, with this how-to from TipNut.com. Whether you use the envelope system, or create a coupon binder to sort, store and organize coupons, try these ideas to get organized for supermarket savings:

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Spring Cleaning Checklists for a Clean House

Spring cleaning can seem overwhelming, especially if home maintenance has been allowed to slide throughout the year. Doing chores as a routine is easier, but how do you remember what needs doing--and when?

To keep the household running smoothly year-round, establish a home maintenance schedule. If you're an Excel user (version 97 or later), download this free home maintenance schedule template. From Microsoft.com:

Home Maintenance Schedule

While you're there, check out this dandy printable housecleaning checklist. Pretty and practical, it'll make chores fly:

Housecleaning Checklist (for Excel 2000 or later)

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