summer fun on a budget
May 25th, 2017
It’s a time to de-stress, have some fun, and spend quality time with your loved ones. However, for a lot of families a vacation can really set them back financially. You shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to a great vacation and that’s why we put this guide together. All activities are budget friendly and sure to make for an awesome trip with great memories.
Don’t let your finances hold you back!
This guide is loaded with freebies and budget friendly activities, but the price for hotels, food, and gas can really add up. Advance Financial is here to help when money is tight. Come into one of our 70+ stores open 24/7 or Click Here to get the cash needed to start making great memories.
Click here to download!
January 23rd, 2017
How does a quick get away to the Great Smokey Mountains and staying in a mountain lodge for $33 a night sound? Right now Groupon.com is offering rooms at a Gatlinburg Mountain Lodge starting at only $33.
CLICK HERE to get this deal!
November 3rd, 2016
The cold will soon be upon us and with cold weather also comes high heating bills. Whether your home is heated by electric or gas, the cost to heat your home can significantly increase if you don’t take certain precautions to run your system as efficiently as possible. The more energy used this winter the higher the cost will be, so the key is to conserve as much energy and heat as possible. To help out with being energy efficient this winter we have listed 5 quick and easy things to do to conserve the heat in your house which will help to lower your electric or gas bill.
A dirty air-return filter can significantly increase the cost to heat your home this winter. Dirt and grime in the filter restricts airflow causing your AC unit to work extra hard to heat your home, which increases your electric bill. Make sure to check all air filters and replace them regularly to ensure your system is working as efficiently as possible.
If you didn’t already know, you can set your ceiling fans to either spin clockwise or counter clockwise. When your fan is set to run counter clockwise, or forward, it pushes air down creating a cooling effect. This is recommended for summer. When set clockwise, or reverse, the fan pulls air up and redistributes it, which is recommended for winter since heat rises.
You might be thinking, “Wait? A space heater uses electricity!” If you turn down your ac a few degrees and run a space heater in the room that’s occupied the most, the amount of energy used from the AC is substantially less. Even with a space heater running. Just make sure to turn off the space heater at night, and bundle up with extra layers.
If you have a guest room or bonus room that is never used, don’t waste energy heating it. Most thermostats are in the living room and the AC is regulated based on the temperature in that room. If you close the vents in unused rooms more hot air will blow into rooms with vents opened, causing the temperature to regulate faster and use less energy.
Just like closing vents in unused rooms, make sure to always keep all interior doors closed. This will cut down the amount of square footage the AC is heating and cause your house to warm up quicker. Your system will turn on less, which will have a positive affect on your heating bill.
November 1st, 2016
The actual decision to start eating healthy is effortless. You just decide one day, “hey, I’m going to start eating healthier.” The phrase “easier said than done” fits perfectly with the idea of eating healthy. You can say you’ll do it, but when it comes down to actually choosing healthier options for meals it can be rather difficult. Below we have created an easy planning guide to making cheap, easy, and most importantly healthy meals that will get you through the entire workweek. A lot of these recipes utilize leftovers from previous meals, which will aid in cutting grocery costs. Links to full recipes for lunches and dinners are included.
Banana and peanut butter on wheat toast
Turkey sandwich – Recipe
Carrots with light ranch, and an apple
Chicken tortilla soup – Recipe
(Note: Make extra chicken and set aside for Tuesday’s lunch.)
Yogurt and all bran cereal
Grilled chicken caesar salad wrap – Recipe
Celery with peanut butter
(Note: Use leftover chicken from Monday’s dinner.)
Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl – Recipe
(Note: Make extra boiled eggs for Wednesday’s breakfast and extra bacon for Wednesday’s lunch.)
Boiled eggs and wheat toast
(Note: use extra boiled eggs from Tuesday’s dinner.)
BLT with avocado – Recipe
Chips and salsa
(Note: Use extra bacon from Tuesday’s dinner.)
Cottage cheese and saltine crackers
Chicken, pepper and corn stir-fry – Recipe
(Note: Make extra and before seasoning set aside. Use peppers for Thursday’s breakfast and chicken and corn for Thursday’s lunch.)
Scrambled eggs with peppers
(Note: Use extra peppers from Wednesday’s dinner.)
Southwest salad with chicken –Recipe
(Note: Use extra chicken and corn from Wednesday’s dinner.)
Carrots with light ranch
Antipasti Penne –Recipe
Oatmeal and bananas
Tuna salad sandwich – Recipe
Low sodium chips
Peanut butter and crackers
Turkey Chili – Recipe
October 13th, 2016
It’s Halloween time and chances are you’re seeing a lot of carved pumpkins flooding people’s porches. The idea of perfectly carved pumpkins that will make the neighbors jealous is a great thought, but actually carving the perfect Jack-o-Lantern can be a daunting and messy task. Carving a pumpkin can be simple and easy if you follow the correct steps. Below we have outlined the basics for carving the perfect pumpkin so you’ll be set to start mastering the art of pumpkin carving.
October 12th, 2016
When it comes to Halloween costume preparation, there are 2 types of people. Those who spend a ton of time and money to look the best at whatever event they are attending, and those who could not care less, but need something so they don’t look like a stick in the mud at the party. If you are the latter of the two, then we’ve got a few ideas that will take little effort and money. Below you will find 10 of the easiest DIY costumes, which can be made with items that might already be lying around your house.
October 7th, 2016
Going out to eat usually means dishing out a little extra cash for your meal, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s worth the extra money to not have to cook or cleanup. At a number of restaurants however, you can get 2 meals that when broken down are actually cheaper than if you bought the ingredients and made it yourself. Below are some of the best date night meal deals to try out when your just not feeling the whole cooking thing but still need to save money.
$15.99 for two full-size entrees including rolls, Caesar salad, and two sides for each entrée.
Southern Fried Fish, Chopped Steak, Grilled Meatloaf, Roasted Chicken Pot Pie, Logan’s Wood-Grilled Chicken, Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, Wood-Grilled Salmon, 6 Oz. Choice Cut Sirloin.
$20 for an appetizer to share and then select two full-size entrees including two sides for each entrée
Fried Pickles, Chips and Salsa, Tostada Chips and Fire-Grilled Corn Guacamole, Onion Rings, or Texas Cheese Fries
Classic Bacon Burger, Cajun Chicken Pasta, 6 oz. Classic Sirloin, Crispy Chicken Crispers, Fajitas, Grilled Chicken Salad, Half Rack of Ribs, Mango Chile Chicken, Mango Chile Tilapia, Margarita Grilled Chicken, or Southwestern Quesadillas
$20 for an appetizer to share and then select two full-size entrees including two sides for each entrée
2 House or Caesar Salads, Boneless Wings, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Onion Rings, Mozzarella Sticks
Cedar Gilled Lemon Chicken, Sirloin Stir Fry, oriental Chicken Salad, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Chicken Tender Basket, Three Cheese Cavatappi, The American Standard Burger
$12.99 a person for 3 course meal consisting of a soup or salad, entrée with two sided, and desert
House or Caesar Salad, Baked Potato Soup or Chicken Tortilla Soup
6 oz. Sirloin, Parmesan- Herb Crusted Chicken, Simply grilled Tilapia
Double Chocolate Mini Parfait, Fresh Strawberry Shortcake Mini Parfait, Ice Cream Sundae topped with Chocolate or Raspberry sauce
Endless bowls of pasta with your choice of pasta, sauce for 9.99 including house salad and bread sticks.
Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Angel Hair, Pappardelle, Fettuccine, Cavatappi, Gluten-Free Rotini
Alfredo, Asiago, Garlic Alfredo, Five-Cheese Marinara, Marinara
October 4th, 2016
Is the age-old tradition of coupon clipping still part of our weekly routine? Put down the scissors and walk away from the weekly store ads cause there is a better way to save. Stop the tedious searching for coupons and promo codes and download apps that find the deals for you. Not only will you save time but you will also find deals you might not have even realize existed. Here are some of the best apps to start using while shopping.
With the goal to build a better shopping experience for their customers, you can save tons by using the Jet app. With their real-time savings engine, the prices drop as you shop. You can get everything from toilet paper to bed sheets on Jet and the more items you add to your cart that have a tag symbol beside them, the lower the price will drop for each item. So buying in bulk for items like toilet paper, toothpaste and granola bars will save you more. The price per item also drops when you opt out for free returns, and pay with a debit card instead of a credit card.
2. Retail Me Not
Score deals at your favorite stores and restaurants with the award-winning app that makes it easy to save with thousands of deals from over 50,000 retailers. The app syncs with your map to notify you of the best deals near you. Whether you’re on vacation in a new city or just driving through your neighborhood, the app will alert you when a deal is near.
3. Shop Advisor
The Shop Advisor app does just what its name suggests, it advises you when the price is just right to purchase. You simply create a list of items you are interested in purchasing and the system watches that item and alerts you when the price drops the lowest online.
This app scans the prices on all sites that carry a specific item you’re shopping for and gives a full comparison report. The app gives you the bottom-line price, taking into consideration the shipping cost for an item. You can also simply scan a bar code of a product to get a quick, real-time view of where to purchase an item at the cheapest price.
If you take advantage of reward programs on credit cards, then you can double your rewards with the Wallaby app. When shopping for items online, the Wallaby system will scan your shopping cart and compare them with your credit card reward programs and tell you which card to use for what items, getting you the highest reward points possible. You can also set up notifications for when you’re getting close to your credit limit or when it’s time to pay a bill.