Archive for June 2019

SAVING ON YOUR FIRST TIME STOCKING THE KITCHEN

As a college student living away from home, perhaps for the first time in your life, you’re in charge of all your dietary needs. No one’s stocking the fridge and pantry with your favorite snacks, or whipping up your best dinner each night. If you want to eat, you’ve got to plan. 

All that shopping and food-prepping can be overwhelming—and expensive! With a bit of planning and prioritizing, though, you can master dorm-life eating without living on ramen noodles or going into debt. 

Here’s how to save on food costs in college: 

  1. Plan ahead. You don’t want to blow through your budget on a single trip to the supermarket or put on the “freshman fifteen” before you’ve taken your first exam. Keep yourself well-fed and your budget intact by planning your menu carefully. Set aside a few minutes at the start of each month to map out a menu for the next few weeks. Create a shopping list based on your menu and stock up on everything you need. This way, a balanced meal will be within reach at any time and you won’t be tempted to eat yet another meal out because you’re absolutely famished.
  2. Dare to share. Study groups can sometimes be less than productive, but food prep is always a good idea to share. Grab your friend who enjoys such activities and is great with details. Find another one who is an aspiring chef, and your buddy who always knows how to sniff out a deal. Then, see if you can share food costs and planning. Play on everyone’s talents to get your groceries for less and to plan out meals that are nutritious and delicious.
  3. Choose a food plan carefully
    If your school offers pre-planned meals, don’t sign up for anything until you’re certain you’ll eat it. Lots of menu options sound better on paper, and it doesn’t make sense to pay for food you won’t eat. Ask older students for help in figuring out what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to the school menu.
  4. Stay away from vending machines
    Don’t feed all the contents of your wallet into overpriced vending machines. Candy bars purchased in large packages at the supermarket can be 75% cheaper than what you’ll find in a vending machine. Stock up on your favorite on-the-go snacks and keep some in your school bag so you have something to munch on whenever the nibbles bite.

You’re in charge of your food now! Be smart and plan ahead for a well-balanced, inexpensive food plan. 

Summer Savings Challenge

School is letting out and now is the time to make the most of summer while still teaching kids the importance of saving with a little bit of fun added in.

MCCU has a Youth Summer Savings Challenge that not only rewards youth members for saving money when they make deposits into their accounts each month, but they also learn valuable information on how to save and spend wisely.

How do they earn rewards? Simple!

  • June – When they make a deposit into their account in June, they get a pass to attend any showing at KYOVA 10.
  • July – Make a deposit in July and you will receive a pass to one free hour of jump time at Extreme Air Trampoline Park
  • August – As summer is winding down and they are counting the days until school starts, they can beat the heat with a pass for free ice cream from Dairy Queen for a deposit made in August.

Bonus!

Plus, every time they make a deposit from June 1 through August 31 they will get their name entered in our Cash Vault Raffle where four lucky members will get $25 deposited into their MCCU savings account.

For more information, or to open a youth savings account, contact MCCU today.

*Must be an existing or new youth member between the ages of 0-18. Account must be in good standing and youth member must make a minimum deposit of $10.00 in person at a MCCU location between 6/1/19 – 6/30/19 to receive a movie pass, a minimum deposit of $10.00 in person at a MCCU location between 7/1/19 – 7/31/19 to receive a pass to  Extreme Air, and a minimum deposit of $10.00 in person at a MCCU location between 8/1/19 – 8/31/19 to receive a free ice cream pass at Dairy Queen. All deposits made in person by youth members from 6/1/19 – 8/31/19 will receive an entry in our Cash Vault Raffle. The raffle will be held no later than 9/1/17. Prize: The Credit Union will raffle a total of four (4) prizes consisting of the following; $25 cash deposited into the child’s savings account at MCCU. Maximum prize amount $25.

 

GAS PRICE AND STATION APPS

Don’t hit the brakes on your summer road trip plans just because of sticker shock at the pump. Use these gasoline pricing apps to help you find the cheapest nearby options, keeping your budget on full all summer long!   

1.) GasBuddy

This highly rated app is a favorite among 70 million users for good reason. GasBuddy allows you to search for gas stations near any ZIP code or city and then finds you the station with the cheapest gasoline. You can filter the options the app brings up by brand, price or location. You can also search for gas stations that have additional features, like restrooms, eateries and car washes.

Best features

GasBuddy takes its mission of saving you money very seriously. Sign up for the app’s loyalty program and you can save $0.15/gallon for your first pump and $0.05/gallon on every subsequent refuel. Enjoy additional perks by reporting price changes to help the app keep its information current. You can also sign up for daily alerts about price drops–and hikes–in your area.

The cost-free app also allows you to search according to very specific criteria, including the type of gas you need, such as diesel or premium unleaded. This can save you a frustrating trip to a gas station that can’t actually help you fill ‘er up.

Glaring glitches

GasBuddy depends on user input to maintain its accuracy, but correcting price listings on the app can be tedious. Of course, you can ignore all the app’s mistakes, but then you’ll only be contributing to its inaccuracy.

2.) GasGuru

GasGuru offers users a more streamlined interface than similar apps. Data is plucked off the Oil Price Information Service instead of being shared by users, so you don’t have to bother with updating gas prices after you pull into a station. The free app offers a super-comprehensive list of gas stations near your current location and places you often visit so you can determine whether it’s cheaper to fill up near your home or your workplace. Filter your search by fuel type and look up eateries, repair shops and more on the app.

Best Features

Say you’re out of town on a business trip and you need to refuel. You find the best-priced gas station in the area that meets your needs, but you have no idea how to get there! GasGuru makes it simple with an automatic navigation option. Just hit the “Get Directions” icon near a listed gas station and the app instantly launches Google Maps to show the way. Also, GasGuru uses just 3MB while still offering a fantastic interface. Contrast this with other gas apps’ 20-30MB and you’ve got one small, but super-powerful app.

Glaring Glitches

Despite its more professional approach toward obtaining gas prices, users complain that GasGuru’s listed prices are more often inaccurate than accurate. Another annoying aspect of the app is the fact that you can only view one category of locations at a time. Also, some users dislike the fact that GasGuru will not specify if the listed prices refer to cash or credit payments at the pump. 

3.) Waze

Yes, the app that has helped you get from point A to point B without getting lost more times than you can count is also a great resource for finding the cheapest gas. Just hit the Settings icon on the app, and then tap the Gas Stations option. You can now select a gas station brand or a type of gas you’d like to search for, and then sort your search by price, distance or brand. Of course, once you’ve found the station you want to use, Waze will show you how to get there as quickly as possible. Prices are updated constantly and are consistently accurate. Some stations even offer a “Waze-only” deal on their prices for users of the popular navigation app. 

Best Features             

Waze makes it super-easy to find the gas station with the best price at the best location. As soon as you hit the search button, it’ll show you a list of nearby gas stations with the exact amount of minutes each choice is off your route. Pricing is also easy to see at a glance; Waze color-codes its list of stations so you can easily compare prices. 

Glaring Glitches                         

Waze keeps itself going with ads for eateries, coffee shops and all kinds of attractions you happen to be passing on your way to your destination. Some users find these ads to be incredibly intrusive. 

How they stack up

App

Special Deals

 User dependent

Consistently Accurate

Built-in Navigation

GasBuddy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

GasGuru

No

No

No

No

Waze

Yes

No

Yes

Yes