Will You Be Watching The Oscars Ceremony?

As you may know, I really like movies. So I can’t wait to watch the Oscars this Sunday night!

One of my favorite things is to watch the red carpet event to see what people are wearing and what they have to say. But it’s definitely a long night, because the actual awards seem to go on forever! I know I’ll be exhausted come Monday morning!

This year I did get a chance to see a few of the nominated movies. I really liked Hidden Figures, and also enjoyed La La Land.

Did you see any good movies this year? Let me know what you liked. I’m always looking for some good recommendations!

Along with movies, you know I also love interesting data. So here’s some Oscar-related information, courtesy of wallethub.com:

  • $696: The value of the 24-karat gold-plated Oscar statuette
  • 225: The number of countries and territories in which the Oscars will be televised
  • $2.1 million: The cost of a 30-second commercial during the Oscars telecast
  • 34.4 million: The average viewers of the 2016 Academy Awards, which were the least viewed Oscars since 2008
  • 217 minutes: The length of the 2016 Oscars broadcast
  • $42.8 million: The total cost of the Oscars ceremony
  • $30,000: The cost of the 16,500-square foot Oscars red carpet
  • $100+ million: The amount Hollywood spends on awards-season lobbying each year
  • $300,000: The cost of mailing watermarked screeners to Oscars, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globes voters
  • $15,000: Jimmy Kimmel’s hosting fee

If you watch the Oscars, I would love to hear what you thought about the show, so let me know!

Have a great day!

Redeeming Gift Cards

I received a number of gift cards for the holidays, and I finally got around to start using some of them. Ah, that spa day was great! (Thanks to my husband for giving me such a thoughtful gift!)

I also received some gift cards for stores that I really don’t go to often, which I’ll discuss a little later.

I know most people get or receive gift cards, so I was curious to see if there was any information on how many people actually use them. I found some fascinating information from giftcards.com:

  • Over $100 billion is spent on gift cards annually
  • 93% of U.S. consumers purchase or receive a gift card annually
  • Consumers spend an average of $213 per year on gift cards
  • 72% of customers will spend more than the value of their card
  • On average, the recipient will spend 20% more than their gift card value
  • 90% of gift cards are used within the first 60 days

When it comes to unused gift cards, roughly $1 billion went unspent last year, according to marketwatch.com. That’s a lot of money!

According to usatoday.com, there are some things you can do with your unwanted gift cards:

  • Regift it: Give the card to a family member or friend who could use it
  • Sell it: There are many websites that will buy your unwanted gift cards. Just search “sell gift cards”
  • Donate it: Give the gift card to a religious organization, food bank or school, or search for “donate gift cards”

I thought donating gift cards was a good idea, so I’m going to donate a few that I know I won’t use.

Did you receive or buy gift cards? What do you do with the ones you may not want? Let me know!

Thanks, and have a great day!

Valentine’s Day is Coming!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and as you may know, it’s one of my favorite holidays! My husband and I are planning to go out to dinner, and as you can see from the data below, quite a few other people are also going out.

As you know, a lot of money is spent on Valentine’s Day gifts. According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $136.57, down from last year’s record-high $146.84. Total spending is expected to reach $18.2 billion, down from $19.7 billion last year, which was also a record. (These sales figures include purchases for significant others as well as friends, family members, and even pets.)

According to the NRF, these are the top purchases that people will make for Valentine’s Day:

  • Candy (50% are planning to purchase; spending expected to be $1.7 billion)
  • Greeting cards (47% percent; $1 billion)
  • An evening out (37% percent; $3.8 billion)
  • Flowers (35% percent; $2 billion)
  • Jewelry (19% percent of shoppers; $4.3 billion)
  • Clothing (19% percent; $1.9 billion)
  • Gift cards/gift certificates (16% percent; $1.4 billion)

Here’s another interesting statistic I found (on statisticbrain.com): 53% of women surveyed said they would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentine’s Day. Hmm, I’m not sure what to make of that!

I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day, and remember if you buy flowers, candy, or clothing, you can record these purchases, even if they don’t have a barcode. If you have a scanner, use the Barcode Reference Booklet. If you use the NCPMobile App, use the onboard Non-Barcoded Items Listing.

Have a great day!

The Big Game Is Here

As you probably know, it’s almost Super Bowl Sunday. It’ll be the New England Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons. Who do you think will win? Take our poll (below) and let us know! (Personally, I’d like to see Atlanta win.)

We of course have some interesting stats about the Super Bowl! According to The Nielsen Company, last year’s Super Bowl was watched by 111.9 million viewers. (For the past three years, women have made up 47% of the TV viewing audience.)

What would watching the Super Bowl be without some good eats? In the two weeks leading up to last year’s Super Bowl, according to Nielsen, Americans spent …

Fresh Food

  • $82 million on chicken wings
  • $80 million on deli salads
  • $58 million on deli sandwiches
  • $23 million on deli platters
  • $13 million on vegetable trays
  • $10 million on deli dips

Salty Snacks (packaged goods)

  • $277 million on potato chips
  • $225 million on tortilla chips
  • $99 million on meat snacks
  • $89 million on pop corn
  • $71 million on cheese snacks
  • $42 million on salty snack dips

Beverage alcohol

  • $1.2 billion on beer, flavored malt beverage and cider
  • $594 million on wine
  • $503 million on spirits (whiskey, vodka, run, tequila, gin)

Finally, here’s some interesting Nielsen info about the areas represented by the Falcons and Patriots:

  • Adults age 25-54 in Atlanta watch an average of four hours and five minutes of live TV
  • While Bostonians watch an average of three hours and eight minutes

Are you having people over to watch the game (or at least the commercials?) If so, don’t forget to record everything you buy, because our panel members’ food preferences were reflected in the statistics above.

Have a great Super Bowl Sunday!