Also, this week’s roundup includes tips to save on baby products, weddings, e-books, groceries, and everyday household expenses, along with Jedi mind tricks played by retailers (store clerk to you: “These are the shoes you’re looking for”), and signs indicating that frugality has turned to the dark side, transforming honorable thrift into hoarding as disturbing as anything in Jaba the Hutt’s lair.
3 reasons why we keep and buy crap. For instance:
It’s For/From Someone Else
Do the world a favor, don’t give gifts of crap. I know, I know, it’s the thought that counts, but this is why I don’t like office Christmas parties. I don’t mind the $15 limit, but I do not want the singing Christmas fish or anything else equally “festive” or “hilarious”. I feel guilty throwing these unused items in landfills, so they linger around the house even longer than they should.
3 tips for skipping work by faking illness. For instance:
Be Frighteningly Contagious
Dennis DiClaudio, author of The Hypochondriac’s Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have, explains that there are three things that matter: contagion, contagion, and contagion. “Make certain your supervisor puts their best interests above those of the company,” DiClaudio says. “Make them believe their health is at risk.” However, keep it practical: Avoid excuses like “I have a nasty case of gonorrhea.”
4 ways to save when you have a new baby. For instance:
Use “Hand Me Downs”
Kids grow so fast and before you know it, the first year of your baby’s life will quickly pass you by. So it is probably not a good investment to stock up your baby’s closet with lots of new shoes and clothes. First of all, unless your child is walking, he or she does not need shoes. It is more of a fashion statement than a necessity.
4 Best Cheap Online Grocery Stores. For instance:
MyBrands is great if you are a devotee of a particular item, such as a certain type of cereal or coffee. This is important because many of their items have minimum order quantities. So it’s not ideal for trying out new stuff that you can’t get in your area, because if you end up not liking the first one, you’ve got eleven more left! They also specialize in items that you won’t find in the average grocery store.
5 ways to waste money on your car. With, for instance:
Fuel Mileage Enhancers
Many products have been “developed” to improve fuel mileage. Just pour the stuff into the fuel tank, they say, claiming improvements of 20 percent or more. But the only one laughing all the way to the bank will be the companies hawking these products, because they don’t work.
5 keys to throwing the perfect potluck. For instance:
What To Bring
The main items are salads, main courses, desserts, drinks, utensils and napkins. Main courses can be split among three guests or couples, as can drinks and dessert. Nobody really wants more than one salad, and utensils and napkins are easy enough for one guest to bring. (It’s a good task for the guest you love who can’t stand cooking.)
5 steps to starting an emergency fund on any budget. For instance:
Step One: Stop Whining
Now don’t go and pull a fast one by telling me you don’t have an emergency fund because you’re broke. I don’t like whiners, and I know The real reason you’re broke, so it’s time to cut the crap and accept that saving something for a bad day is a surefire way to stay afloat. And since I want you to have a personal flotation device (that’s a life jacket), it’s time to silence that pesky voice telling you that saving something is impossible.
5 career lessons from Shakespeare. For instance:
“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice”
Regardless of the person, be it the CEO or head custodian, practice active listening. Actually listen to the words and understand those words before you retort. Hard though it may be, try not to form your responses until you have let the speaker speak.
5 things you need to know about holiday shopping. For instance:
Be wary of retailers’ tactics. Stores know a lot about how your mind works, and they’re prepared to manipulate you to increase sales. For example, the merchandise that gets prime position at eye level or on displays at the end of an aisle is the stuff they most want to sell, tempting you whether you need it or not, says L.J. Shrum, chair of the marketing department at the University of Texas at San Antonio. “Doorbuster,” “one time only” and “going out of business” sales are designed to persuade shoppers to buy now or forever mourn a missed opportunity.
5 extreme recession real estate buys. For instance:
In Chicago’s upscale North Shore neighborhood, a landmark home – built by the nephew of renowned architect Daniel Burnham – is on the market for $1. There’s only one catch: The local preservation commission in Glenview, Illinois. is obligating the next owner to move the 1894-era home to a new location.
6 tiny money leaks that cost me $1,702 annually. For instance:
Paying almost all of our bills by snail mail instead of the Internet.
My (lame) excuse: As the household CFO the Honeybee pays the bills, and she insists on paying them the old-fashioned way because she “doesn’t trust computers.” (Don’t say it. I know.)
Short term impact: On average she writes about 10 checks per month for bills that she could pay online or automatically.
Long term impact: $60 annually, assuming 50 cents per bill (for the price of the stamp, envelope, and check).
7 frugal lessons from Great Grandmother. For instance:
She had a clothesline.
Why use a dryer when all it does is ruin the fabric and waste energy? There’s really no need to look at the instructions tag if you are drying clothes via fresh air.
7 sales pitches you can’t resist. For instance:
“Get a free gift with your $50 purchase.”
It’s the retail equivalent of finding money on the ground. And shoppers equate added value with a discount — even if they’re spending extra money to get a freebie they wouldn’t have otherwise purchased and might not even use
7 shopping Jedi mind tricks and how to spot them. For instance:
Going Out of Business Sale
I used to see the same “Going Out of Business” signs up for a furniture store in town for months on end. I started to wonder about whether they were really going out of business. On a couple occasions, my wife said, “Hey, maybe we can get some furniture for the kids at a great discount,” but I reminded her that the guy in the chicken suit holding the sign has been out there for months.
7 totally dope, awesomely dorky economics and personal finance rap videos. Now who would throw together such a silly post? Oh. Whoops. For instance:
Turbo Tax: The Rap
I guess the IRS doesn’t like to be defrauded.
And if you even try they’ll complete an audit.
And that’s a process you don’t want to see get started….
But you could get Turbo Tax, it’s da bomb, da bomb.
And it’s as easy as taking your mom to prom.
Get what you can’t make at home…
Frugal Foodie’s strategy is to order food that’s not easy to make at home for one reason or another. Reconsider if the ingredients are hard to come by (ostrich egg, venison), tough or messy to work with (sweetbreads, phyllo dough) or beyond your cooking skill (turducken).
10 signs that frugality has become compulsive hoarding. For instance:
Hoarders get mad when other people try to help them with their problem. Frugal people are always looking for new tips and tricks for saving money in a way that’s healthy and supports their other life goals. If you find that you’re getting defensive and angry when your “frugal” lifestyle is brought up then this may be a sign that you actually have a problem with hoarding.
10 most common credit card mistakes. For instance:
Misunderstand how balance transfers work
Credit card companies often stress their 0% balance transfers but less readily advertise that they also charge fees of 3-5% of the amount transferred for the service. Therefore, it is important to check your credit card application’s fine print before making a balance transfer in order to see how much it will actually cost. Additionally, make sure that you minimize the overall costs you incur by paying off your debt before any 0% interest offer expires.
10 tips for making more money. For instance:
Sell Your Stuff
Most folks have homes filled with Stuff. In fact, Americans have so much Stuff that we’ve created one sure-fire recession-proof industry: self-storage units.
But you know what? That Stuff isn’t garbage — it’s money waiting to be made. No, you’re not going to get what you paid for most of your Stuff, but with a little time and effort, you can earn enough to make a dent in your debt or to save for next summer’s trip to England.
12 long-standing credit and debit card myths. For instance:
The CARD Act is a Blessing For Those Already in Debt
Regardless of the particular merits or demerits of this law, one thing is clear: it does not offer very much to those who had debt before it was passed. Because Congress signed the bill into law with a nine month delay before it took effect, creditors had ample opportunity to raise interest rates, reduce lines of credit, impose fees and other actions now prohibited by the Act. Essentially, Congress gave the banks and creditors plenty of time “get their last licks” in before the bill became law
13 things your salesclerk won’t tell you. For instance:
New merchandise goes at the front of the store, bargains at the back. The endcaps on the back side of aisles at Target, for instance, usually have items 15 to 75 percent off. If you want a deal, try to figure out when your favorite retailer does its markdowns. Some do them on Thursdays or Fridays, others at the end of the month.
20 places to find free books online. For instance:
Online Books Page – This University of Pennsylvania website lists over 800,000 books that can be read for free online. Books are sorted by author, title, and genre so that they are easy to find.
50 ways to go green at your wedding. For instance:
Recycled Bride. Recycled Bride is the place to shop for gently used and fairly priced wedding dresses, bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmen suits and even wedding and engagement rings.
233 ways to make money. For instance:
Wait tables at comedy clubs. People often think about waiting tables at restaurants to earn extra money, but don’t forget to check out your local comedy clubs. Comedy clubs generally offer great weekend and night hours that work very well as a second job.