Monster Money-Saving List Round-up: Freebies, Outlet Store Rip-offs, Remedies to De-Stink Your Shoes, Coupon Secrets and Coupon Sins

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Also: stuff you should never pay for, including certain insurance policies, brand-new technology, checking accounts, and ridiculous plastic surgeries. Cankle liposuction anyone?
3 easy steps to becoming an investor. For beginners: a sensible primer on building a portfolio from a USA Today columnist. One step not mentioned—a pre-step, if you will—is actually earning enough money so that you can pay your bills and have enough left over to invest. This step isn’t easy or uncomplicated, especially nowadays.

5 ripoffs to watch out for at outlet stores. It’s wrong to assume that outlets overflow with genuine bargains. Sometimes, “discounts” are misleading (because no one ever pays the full manufacturer’s suggested retail price), and some goods aren’t discounted at all. (You might be better off shopping at these 32 stores and websites, selling discount merchandise only.)

7 green things our grandparents did. Among other things: They drank tap water rather than bottled. They hung their clothes to dry outside. They grew their own veggies. They cooked at home, brought leftovers to work for lunch, and rarely tossed perfectly good food into the trash. All of these practices are not only good for the environment, they’ll save you money too.

7 secrets of the coupon pros. Sample tip: Set up a separate e-mail account just for collecting coupons, and print out only those that you are sure to redeem—before the expiration date, of course.

10 worst coupon sins. Now that you know how to use coupons like a pro, here’s how not to use them—at the risk of facing the wrath of your neighbors, checkout clerks, or the people standing behind you in line at the cashier. For example, “Thou shall not covet another man’s circular,” by swiping your neighbor’s weekly paper because you want the coupons. Also, no berating cashiers, and it’s bad form to get into the Express Lane with 10 or 15 coupons: That defeats the point of “express,” even if you are under the limit for number of items being purchased.

10 best cars for $10,000. A round-up of the best cars, model year 2005 and later, that sell for about $10K.

10 insurance policies that aren’t worth the money. Jean Chatzky says to forget about credit life insurance, mortgage life insurance, and children’s life insurance, among other policies you can skip. Extended warranties too, though you probably already know that.

10 July 4th freebies and discounts. Download patriotic music and get food samples for free, and find discounts at places like Home Depot and The Gap.

More July 4 freebies and deals. This list contains promos for free sandwiches, free pie, and free pancakes, though all of these offers have some purchase required.

10 things people buy they should get free. Including checking accounts (get tips for avoiding checking fees here), credit reports, and directory assistance for phone calls.

12 home remedies for stinky feet and shoes. The tips include sprinkling shoes with baby powder and regular rotation of footwear, so that you’re not wearing the same stinky kicks every day.

12 ridiculous plastic surgeries. Cankle liposuction, as an example. Toddler teeth whitening is another. The story would probably be shorter if it instead listed non-ridiculous plastic surgeries.

18 best, cheapest ways to upgrade your PC. As recommended by the MaximumPC Staff.

Stop wasting your money on these 25 things. Pseudo health remedies, brand new technology (let the early adopters take one for the team), bottled water, pre-packaged foods, maintenance at the car dealership, and on and on.