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Big giveaway is part of chain's response to 'where's the beef' lawsuit.

By Teresa Mears Feb 8, 2011 8:22PM

Taco Bell has a gift for its friends: a free taco.

As a thank you to those who have supported the restaurant company in its fight against a lawsuit that said the "seasoned ground beef" in its menu items doesn't contain enough beef, Taco Bell is offering a free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco to its Facebook fans, or at least the first 10 million of them.

"Thanks so much for your support!" Taco Bell writes on the coupon. "You rock! Enjoy a free taco on us!"

Of course, if you agree with Amanda Obney, who sued Taco Belll claiming false advertising, you probably don't want a Taco Bell taco, even if it's free. Obney's suit argues that Taco Bell's "seasoned ground beef" doesn't meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture standards to be called by that name and should be called "taco meat filling." Her lawyers say it's about 35% beef, plus binders and extenders.


North Dakota is begging people to move there and fill vacant jobs. Could it be that many are pinned down by underwater mortgages and unsellable houses?

By Karen Datko Feb 8, 2011 5:05PM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.


I don't own a home and don't think I ever will in the extremely expensive city in which I live. That's more a happenstance than a conscious decision.


But it seems I lucked out.


Owning a home has always made some people less mobile. Now, it's a veritable anchor keeping many owners stuck in place.


Going green is a term that suggests two things: saving the planet, but spending more money to do it. When it comes to entertainment, it doesn't have to be that way.

By Stacy Johnson Feb 8, 2011 2:23PM

"Going green" often sounds like an expensive and time-consuming proposition. Organic foods and hybrid cars cost more than their "regular" counterparts, for example, and recycling takes extra effort and coordination.

But going green isn't always complicated and pricey. There are lots of simple ways to save the planet and your wallet.


I recently shot a video on ways to save green by going green on entertainment.


Lawsuit follows 'no credible scientific evidence' admission by the manufacturer.

By Karen Datko Feb 8, 2011 12:37PM

This post comes from Truman Lewis at partner site


An Orange County, Calif., man is the latest to file a federal class-action lawsuit against the makers of Power Balance wristbands, following the company's recent admission that there is "no credible scientific evidence" that supports its claims.


Brian Casserly's suit also names celebrity endorsers Shaquille O'Neal and Lamar Odom.


A 'daily spend limit' helps her manage her cash flow and spend less throughout the month.

By Karen Datko Feb 8, 2011 9:53AM

This post comes from David Ning at partner blog Wise Bread.


Over lunch recently, my friend Jessica told me she discovered a new idea to help her save more money on a daily basis. She has always been careless with her spending, so it was awesome to hear that she found a method that works for her.


I'm paraphrasing, but this was her basic concept:


Be nice. It's a lot easier for store clerks or anyone else to give you what you want if they like you.

By Karen Datko Feb 7, 2011 7:22PM

This post comes from Kimberly Palmer at partner site U.S. News & World Report.


Roxana Popescu, a freelance writer in San Diego, decided to give herself a challenge: She would ask for something every day for a year.

That's interesting for two reasons: First, women tend to avoid asking for things, especially money-related things such as raises. Second, retailers have become more open to negotiation in the wake of the recession. So asking for things is more important than ever.


Popescu documents her efforts on her blog, The Daily Asker, where she has shared her many successes, including negotiating the price of her wedding dress, her fees for clients, and a phone system at Best Buy.


In the never-ending debate over buying vs. leasing cars, leasing still loses. Here's why buying is usually better, some exceptions, and my ideal solution.

By Stacy Johnson Feb 7, 2011 5:41PM

Car leasing remains a popular option for Americans, but for most people, it doesn't make much financial sense.


Consider a hypothetical car with a sticker price of $27,000. If you buy with $1,000 down, and finance it over three years at today's average rate (per of 5.7%, your payments will be about $780 per month. After three years, you'll have paid a total of about $29,350 and own a car that should be -- if it's depreciated by 50% -- still worth about $14,000. Net cost if you choose to sell: $15,350.

Compare that to the cost of a typical lease: Let's say you put the same $1,000 down, then lease it for the same three years. According to this calculator at, if your car has the same $14,000 residual value and the same interest rate (known as the "money factor" in lease lingo) you'll pay $567 per month. Three years later, your final cost will be $20,412 -- about $5,000 more -- and you'll be car shopping again.


What are his income prospects? Does she shop too much? This couple should look at the serious financial issues before they decide whether to reunite.

By Teresa Mears Feb 7, 2011 5:06PM

Perhaps you've been preoccupied lately with the Super Bowl and haven't yet focused on the most important question to be decided this Valentine's Day.

No, it isn't whether you should buy your sweetie flowers or chocolate. The burning question facing Americans this Valentine's Day is: Will Barbie and Ken get back together?


The will she or won't she take him back social media campaign was organized by Mattel to mark Ken's 50th birthday. (Instead of joining AARP, the ever-young Ken sports a Justin Bieber look.)


Ken is buying flowers and chocolate and even billboards declaring his love.



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