If your bank account is drying up and you are looking for some cost-cutting tricks, they are out there. Andrew Zumwalt, a professor at the University of Missouri’s Division of Applied Social Sciences, breaks down ways to save on groceries, gas, and more.
Zumwalt suggested using salvage grocery stores.
“They may sell things that are beyond expiration, but maybe they’re perfectly fine. I think it’s up to each individual whether or not they want to purchase that, but sometimes there may be items that are there that are perfectly fine. For example, maybe one part of a case with something a package broke, so the grocer decided to just salvage the whole thing and 90% of the items within the case are fine,” said Zumwalt.
He said shopping at discount bakeries with day old items and grocers with day old baked goods is another.
“If you’re going to eat it within a couple of days maybe you should work no different than the bread you buy on the on the store shelves,” Zumwalt said.
Zumwalt recommended buying generic brands and says Amish and Mennonite-run stores are great options.
He also had several tips to save on gas.
“One would be to kind of look at warehouse clubs,” he said. “If you live close to a Sam’s Club or Costco, a lot of times they’ll offer gas at a pretty good discount because they want to drive traffic to their stores. Maybe use a credit card that gives you cashback on gas. There’s a lot of credit cards that give you 5% back. If gas is running $5 a gallon that’s 25 cents every time you put a gallon in your car, and if you drop enough quarters in your hand, it adds up.”
Military bases often have lower gas prices as well.
Zumwalt recommended joining a fuel cooperative.
“With gas prices so high, many people’s regular fuel purchases put them maybe within the bounds for a membership in a fuel co-op. Of course, when you join a fuel cooperative, you become an owner and so you become eligible for patronage dividends,” he said.
Zumwalt also suggests keeping an eye on retail and grocery sales offering deep discounts on gas for buying certain items at their stores.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for budget-friendly vacation options this summer in Missouri, state Division of Tourism Director, Stephen Foutes, said Missouri has plenty of free or inexpensive summer activities.
He said Missouri’s state parks have free admission and the state’s historic sites have low admission rates.
“You can go to several of our larger lakes, Lake of the Ozarks, Pomme de Terre Lake, Table Rock Lake,” Foutes said. “You can rent a boat for an afternoon with your family and spend the day out on the water. That’s a great way to enjoy a vacation and you’re just thinking about the boat rental costs. That’s a really great way to see Missouri and enjoy some time outdoors.”
He said Missouri is sometimes referred to as “The Cave State” for it’s more than 6,000 caves.
“Within those 1,000s caves, there are about 20 what we call show caves that are open and available for people to tour. The great thing about caves on these hot days is it’s always about 60 degrees inside, so you can go in there and cool off. As is summer gives way to winter and fall and it’s cold outside, the caves stay about 60 degrees, so you can go in there and warm up,” said Foutes.
He also mentioned a hidden gem in northern Missouri – the childhood home of Walt Disney.
“Main Street USA in Disneyland is modeled after the Marceline, Missouri. Hometown Museum is there,” said Foutes. “It’s a really neat attraction and has a lot of insights into Walt’s youth and how he got involved in animation and why small town life and Marceline was so important to him even into adulthood.”
In St. Louis, the zoo, St. Louis Art Museum and the History Museum have free admission.
In Kansas City, the Nelson Adtkins Museum of Art has free admission and the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City has low-cost admission.
In Springfield, the Missouri Institute of Natural Science has free admission. The natural history museum includes a collection of prehistoric creatures, including dinosaurs.
The Division has a Summer Passport Program, an online platform, with a list of attractions where you can check-in. After checking in at so many locations, tourists would be eligible to win a prize.
Visitmo.com has information about a variety of Missouri’s attractions.
Click the full interviews below.
Ways to save with Andrew Zumwalt (20:30):
Budget-friendly vacation stops in Missouri with state Division of Tourism Director Stephen Foutes (20:30):
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