Smart SpendingSmart Spending

$25 million campaign seeks to portray nutritious veggie as cool and sexy. The Halloween version will come with tattoos.

By Teresa Mears Sep 14, 2010 6:30PM

We've all heard about extreme sports. But did you know about extreme baby carrots?

That's right. Baby carrots have gotten a makeover. No longer are they merely the meek little vegetable you used to pack in your lunch when you were feeling virtuous.

 

Baby carrots are cool. Baby carrots are sexy. Baby carrots are the extreme junk food.

 

At least that's the message of a $25 million advertising campaign launched by "a bunch of carrot farmers."

 

 Post continues after video. (A baby carrot commercial appears following the news story about an agitated candidate.)

 

Everyone knows the standard advice about reducing premiums. Here are some less obvious suggestions.

By Karen Datko Sep 14, 2010 3:44PM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

When it comes to saving money in this economy, it appears that many people are reducing their auto insurance coverage. It's a bit of a gamble, but adjusting your insurance, whether it's homeowners or auto or anything else, can be a way to save a few more dollars if things are looking tight.

The subject of how to lower auto insurance costs has been covered a nearly infinite number of times, and everyone knows the basics -- shop for alternatives, increase deductibles, drop comprehensive and collision on older vehicles, package together policies for a discount, etc.

 

I would like to think that you all know that you should shop around for insurance, just as you would shop around for anything else. I would also hope that you understand the relationship between your premiums and your deductible. Hitting those points again just smashes the same tired old ideas back into your brain and, honestly, wastes your time.

 

So, this post will be about the more novel ways to lower your car insurance costs.

 

Furniture firm's Life Improvement Project encompasses furniture and community service.

By Teresa Mears Sep 14, 2010 2:32PM

Do you feel as if your life could use some improvement? We all certainly see a need for improvement in the lives around us.

 

Ikea thinks it can help.

The Swedish furniture retailer has just unveiled a new advertising campaign that includes The Life Improvement Project. The store also is adopting a new slogan, "The Life Improvement Store."

 

We didn't know you could buy life improvement at a store, but we're willing to go window shopping.

 

Fall loyalty offers reward bonus points -- but there are strings attached.

By Karen Datko Sep 14, 2010 1:18PM

This Deal of the Daycomes fromKelli B. Grantat partner site SmartMoney.

 

The kids are in school, the skies are gray, and hotel room rates are rising. Could there be a worse time to travel?

Perhaps a free night's stay would convince you otherwise. Or reimbursement of those pesky checked-bag fees. And how about triple rewards points to sweeten the deal? A flock of hotel chains is offering these promotions and more to lure reluctant travelers into the shoulder season.

 

Great deals can be found on new cars. Here's where to look, along with buying tips that could save you thousands.

By Stacy Johnson Sep 14, 2010 11:06AM

This post comes from Michael Koretsky at partner site Money Talks News.

 

If you're in the market for a new vehicle, bad news for car dealers can mean good news for you.

Last month was the "worst August for U.S. auto sales since 1983," according to an Associated Press report, prompting dealers to offer bigger incentives for new-car sales. 

 

Companies use behavioral economics to squeeze our wallets. And, sadly, they're on the bleeding edge of research.

By Karen Datko Sep 14, 2010 6:57AM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.

 

You might have heard about all those little tweaks government officials have thought about implementing in order to make you healthier and save more. You could have companies automatically enroll employees in a 401k plan, rather than have them opt in, for example. Companies that have implemented that little change have seen 401k participation jump to 93% from 76%.

But, of course, the very best behavioral economic "parlor tricks" aren't all used for good. In fact, it's often the marketing departments of consumer goods companies that implement new research the fastest. Here are a few to look out for.

 

Thieves may have targeted one 'friend' who announced his vacation online. Be judicious, but good locks are more important.

By Teresa Mears Sep 13, 2010 2:08PM

Reports that a burglary ring in New Hampshire targeted 50 homes and netted up to $200,000 in stolen goods after reading Facebook status updates that the owners would be away have been greatly exaggerated.

One home might have been targeted that way. Or maybe two.

 

A ring apparently did burglarize at least 18 homes, but most were chosen the old-fashioned way -- by keeping an eye on the neighborhood and pinpointing houses where no one was  home and that were easy to enter. And the home that was chosen because of a Facebook posting that the owner would be away? Well, it seems as if the thief was a "friend" of the victim. Some friend.

 

Removing footwear makes carpet and flooring last longer. It also keeps you from tracking in some nasty stuff.

By Donna_Freedman Sep 13, 2010 12:08PM

Wish I had a piece of the hosiery industry in Anchorage, where you remove your footwear after you enter someone's house. Knowing you'll be unshod regularly means making sure your feet are decently covered.

Once when I was an Anchorage Daily News reporter I took off my shoes at an interviewee's home and discovered a rent in one sock. It's hard to look professional when your big toe has its eye to the peephole.

 

Obviously Alaska is not the only place where indoor shoe-wearing is frowned upon. People in other cultures live this way too -- and so, increasingly, do U.S. residents, as a quick Internet search indicates.


Why?

 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More