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HOUSTON-First let's talk about bread-the kind you eat and the kind in your wallet.

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Saving Cents: Three money-saving tips
June 2, 2009

The No. 1 tip for saving big on bread is to shop at the bread outlet stores.

They used to be called day-old bread stores. The prices are 65 percent cheaper. Just to give you an idea, a loaf of split top wheat at the outlet store costs $1.09. At a regular grocery store, it costs $2.99.

The bread is not as fresh as loaves in the store. A bakery spokesperson said it's a couple of days older. Grocery stores rotate bread quickly, leaving it on the shelf for about two days. Then it's pulled and brought to the bakery outlet store, the spokesperson said. The outlet store also stocks a few pastries and snacks.

We talked to management at two bakery outlet stores in the Houston area: Mrs. Baird's Outlet Store at 605 E. Tidwell and Sunbeam's Outlet Store at 3000 Washington in The Heights.

Our second Saving Cents tip is to always use the 10-Second Rule to avoid impulse purchases.

When you're out shopping and you pick up something you did not intend to buy, hold it for 10 seconds.

And explain to yourself why you really need it. Have the conversation silently, of course.

Money experts say many times you will talk yourself out of the purchase because you did not, in fact, need it. You simply wanted it.

Our third tip has to do with travel. You should always pack smart for your vacation to avoid airline baggage fees.

This advice comes from a travel article that ran in the paper recently.

You should always put your heaviest items in your carry-on bag, like shoes and books.

Pack some clothes you don't mind throwing away. You'll come back lighter than you left or you can pack souvenirs into the extra space. For instance, instead of packing PJ's, pack old t-shirts to sleep in, then toss 'em.

And lastly, pack for the best conditions, not the worst.

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