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Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

With all the hype and Black Friday campouts at Best Buys and Toys R Us, you'd guess that the majority of holiday shopping budgets go to purchases like electronics, toys and clothing. But according to new research, the biggest share what comes out of your holiday wallet actually goes to ... groceries and restaurants.

New data from Card-Linked Marketing leader Cardlytics -- collected from millions of U.S. households over the past two years -- shows what consumers actually spend their money on during the holiday season.  When it comes to holiday shopping Americans are spending 24% of their budget on groceries followed by restaurants and apparel.  Toy purchases are actually at the bottom of the list.

The Top 10 Share of Wallet (see link/attached for graphics and pie charts for 2011 and 2012 holiday spending):

1. Groceries - 24%

Black Friday Battle: Walmart to match best Black Friday deals in-store and online

Black Friday Battle: Walmart to match best Black Friday deals in-store and online

ATLANTA -- If you thought retailers were crazy to open on Thanksgiving, things just got a little juicer -- but better -- for consumers.

Walmart has decided to give customers matchups on Black Friday deals, starting this Friday!

At 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, Walmart will kick off a pre-Black Friday savings event in stores and online, lowering the prices on popular toys and electronics, to match select Black Friday offers from Target, Toys R' Us and Best Buy one week early.

6 ways to save On Halloween decorations

6 ways to save On Halloween decorations

ATLANTA -- Every year there are millions of dollars spent on Halloween, from costumes, snacks and candy to decorations.

Hopefully after reading this, you will be able to save a ton on Halloween decor for your yard and home.

Sad day for Atlanta couponers: The end of Kroger double coupons

Sad day for Atlanta couponers: The end of Kroger double coupons

ATLANTA -- The wave of couponers' cries heard in the Midwest and Texas has finally hit the Southeast!

For years, we have enjoyed the everyday doubling of coupons $0.50 and less. We got FREE items because of this great policy and it made handling an almost impossible budget easier for us couponers and savvy shoppers.

While I am not saying that this will hurt us (I will be posting some other things Kroger is doing), it does have me wondering -- in this competitive Atlanta market, where we use more coupons per capita then ANYWHERE in the US -- how will this fare? Will Publix jump on the bandwagon?

The end of double coupons becomes effective September 21, 2013. For this couponer, I will be having to double check my shopping list with this new rule. It's not fun, but a lot of new things are coming from Kroger, and I think this is why the program of double couponing is ending.

Riverside Farmers Market opens June 1

Riverside Farmers Market opens June 1

The Riverside Farmers Market will open for its fourth season on Saturday, June 1, 2013. The popular market is operated by Fulton County Cooperative Extension.

The market will return to the same location, in the parking lot of Roswell City Hall located at 38 Hill Street. Hours are Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon through September.  The market is open rain or shine.

The 2013 season promises to be the strongest yet for the Riverside Farmers Market, with more than 15 vendors. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, vendors will provide knife sharpening, honey, baked goods, eco-friendly clothing, as well as live performances by local musicians.

Market visitors can also get free advice from UGA Fulton County Cooperative Extension Agents and Master Gardeners on topics ranging from planting a garden, to radon detection to canning.   

For more information, call (404) 613-7670 or (404) 332-2400.

Fair Trade market to benefit families around the globe

Fair Trade market to benefit families around the globe

ATLANTA -- Do some good along with your holiday shopping this year.

The Beyond Fair Trade craft market at City Church Eastside will sell items like children's clothing, accessories, home décor and jewelry, all made by nonprofit organizations.

One hundred percent of proceeds will benefit disadvantaged men, women and children in countries like Haiti, India, Kenya and Rwanda. Last year's Beyond Fair Trade event raised nearly $10,000.

The market will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30. Learn more and RSVP at the Beyond Fair Trade Facebook page.

City Church Eastside is located at 112 Krog Street, Suite 5.

Fulton Fresh celebrates end of 2012 season

Fulton Fresh celebrates end of 2012 season

ATLANTA -- Fulton County Cooperative Extension will celebrate the end of the second season of the Fulton Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, September 12th at the Shrine of the Black Madonna located at 946 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., SW, Atlanta, GA 30310 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am.  

Fulton County Cooperative Extension, in an effort to address health disparities, began the Fulton Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market Program in 2011.  Fulton County residents living in “food deserts." areas with limited access to mainstream grocery stores, are able to get fresh vegetables and nutrition education from the Fulton Fresh mobile units.

In response to public demand, the program added an additional mobile unit to reach more communities.  The Fulton Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market trucks delivered an estimated 8 tons of fresh produce to more than 1,800 residents living in 12 areas identified as food deserts.   In 2011, Fulton Fresh provided