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As the holiday travel season approaches, consider these suggestions for improving your chances of arriving on time.

By Stacy Johnson Nov 4, 2010 11:00AM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.

 

These days, it's easier than ever to find out if your flight is delayed. Whether it's an iPhone app like Flightcaster or FlightTrack Pro, or the airlines' own websites or even the FAA's Air Traffic Control System Command Center, you never have to guess when you're going to get off the ground or get grounded.

But that knowledge doesn't ease the frustration of flight delays -- or the cost. The FAA and the University of California, Berkeley released a startling new survey that puts a dollar figure on those delays: $33 billion in 2007, the last year researchers could get complete data.

 

How can you best store perishable foods, and how long can you expect them to last?

By Karen Datko Nov 4, 2010 9:47AM

This guest post comes from Kate Forgach at Go Frugal Blog.

 

The shelf life of a Twinkie may bear more resemblance to an atomic bomb's half-life, but refrigerated foods last only so long before taking a slow and steady ride to salmonellaville.

 

The expiration dates on food products aren't always of much help. Often, they simply serve as guidelines to quality and not safety. If they're not properly understood, you may end up pouring grocery money down the drain. On average, we waste about 14% of the food we buy each year, totaling about $600 worth of groceries per person.

We've compiled a list of refrigerated and frozen foods along with their shelf lives and storage methods. All dairy shelf lives refer to products that have already been opened and refrigerated.

 

There's no proven link between credit histories and insurance claims, and insurance scoring often can be random and unfair. It's time to limit the practice.

By Money Staff Nov 3, 2010 7:57PM

This post comes from MSN Money's Liz Pulliam Weston.

 

Liz Pulliam WestonThe fact that credit scores correlate with insurance claims is pretty well-established. People with bad credit cost insurers more, and people with good credit cost insurers less.

But anyone who pretends to know why that's true is blowing air up your skirt.


Because nobody knows why. There are plenty of theories, such as:

  • People with good credit are more careful drivers or homeowners.
  • People with bad credit are less likely to have money to pay claims out of pocket.
  • People with bad credit are more likely to be impulsive/aggressive/bad at judging risk.
 

Russian crackdown has led to a dramatic drop, but expect it to be temporary.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 6:37PM

Enjoy the drop in Viagra spam traffic while you can. (Don't claim you didn't notice.) It's expected to be somewhat brief, as others move in to fill a void authorities say was created by an investigation of Igor A. Gusev, Russia's reputed "spam king."

Viagra and other prescription drug spam reportedly dropped by 20% worldwide -- 50 billion e-mails a day -- when the Russian computer police got involved.

 

Consumer Reports surveyed bespectacled readers about their purchasing experiences.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 4:13PM

This post comes from James Limbach at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

Shopping for eyeglasses isn't easy, especially when frames can cost well over $200 a pair -- even without the fancy add-ons and logos. But a Consumer Reports survey found that a great pair of eyeglasses doesn't have to break the bank.

The magazine surveyed more than 30,000 of its bespectacled readers about their most recent purchase of a pair of glasses and found that Costco topped the ratings of eyeglass retailers, which included large chains, independent local optical shops, and private doctor's offices.

 

Amazon launches new FB service, boosting retail move toward social networking and mobile commerce.

By Teresa Mears Nov 3, 2010 2:44PM

You check Facebook and realize that, once again, you've forgotten your niece's birthday. She's away at college in another town, so mailing brownies is out of the question if you want them to arrive in time. And you refuse to indulge in those lame Facebook games that involve spending real money for virtual gifts.

Retailers have indeed seen your need. This week, Amazon launched a new app with which you can send your friends gift cards via Facebook. You may see more apps like it soon.

Amazon gift cards have long been available via e-mail. Making them available on Facebook is another way to integrate shopping with a service that reminds participants of friends' birthdays and lets people share their shopping experiences online.

 

Research shows that interruptions can make pleasant things more pleasurable, and unpleasant things even worse.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 1:54PM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.

 

Sometimes, I read a study and go, "Hahaha, yeah, right." Most often, I then proceed to do exactly what the study says I would do. This is one of those studies.

 

I mean, how would you react if the study title was, literally, "Enhancing the Television‐Viewing Experience through Commercial Interruptions"?

A couple years ago, Leif Nelson of UC Berkeley and Tom Meyvis of NYU decided to measure how much our pleasure in watching a TV program diminished when it was interrupted by commercials.

 

More banks are paying you to open accounts, but 'free' money has a cost.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 12:26PM

This Deal of the Day comes from AnnaMaria Andriotis at partner site SmartMoney.

 

There is no such thing as free money -- unless, of course, you want to open a checking account. Several banks have started offering cold, hard cash to get new customers in the door.

 

But hidden in the fine print are fees and rules that will wipe out the windfall.

 

Cash incentive offers have more than doubled over the last year, says Schwark Satyavolu, chief executive of BillShrink.com, which tracks bank account trends.

 

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