Smart SpendingSmart Spending

When was the last time you bought something with metal, other than a short-term parking space rental?

By Karen Datko Nov 10, 2010 10:19AM

This guest post comes from Frank Curmudgeon at Bad Money Advice.

 

With Election Day behind us, I thought this would a good time to discuss a bloated federal program that wastes taxpayer dollars, annoys the citizenry, and uses up our precious natural resources.

 

I am talking about the minting of coins.

 

I was reminded of this continuing national tragedy by a post at The Consumerist about a brave grass-roots effort to address this issue. Apparently, there is a Dunkin' Donuts shop somewhere (for obvious reasons of safety, its location was not disclosed) that now rounds all purchases to the nearest nickel. If a customer for some reason actually wants the pennies (the mind boggles) the shop will provide them.

 

You can prepare a cheaper, healthier Turkey Day meal, and still have time to mingle with your guests.

By Karen Datko Nov 10, 2010 7:48AM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.

 

Are you tired of Thanksgivings when your entire family comes to visit but you don't have time to talk to any of them? Do you dream of serving fresh, home-prepared food instead of Stove Top and Potato Buds on Turkey Day? Come this holiday, do you wanna save a coupla bucks?

Sweet. We gotcha covered.

By following these steps and devoting an hour or two to planning ahead, you can cook up a wholesome, economically sound Thanksgiving feast without going completely insane. You'll have time to actually interact with your loved ones, and no one will leave the house hungry.

 

Maybe frugalists who eschew a daily shower or bath are on to something.

By Karen Datko Nov 9, 2010 5:37PM

The navy shower has long been a frugal hack. You know the drill: Get wet, shut off the water and scrub, then quickly rinse off. Your use of the water you paid to heat is two minutes tops.

But maybe we should give up the daily shower or bath routine because it would be better for our skin and overall health.

 

Attorney who caters to the broke and financially distressed devises a new way to bring home the bacon.

By Karen Datko Nov 9, 2010 3:36PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.

 

Have you ever wondered how foreclosure defense lawyers make money? After all, their clients are broke, by definition. Or, at least financially stressed.

 

"Foreclosure defense is a new legal specialty whose strategies and techniques are still being worked out," explains The New York Times in an article about a novel way one specialist has devised for getting compensated.

The article focuses on a foreclosure attorney in Florida who asks clients to take out second mortgages on their homes, payable to the law firm, to ensure they'll pay their bills. The second mortgage "takes effect only if the foreclosure is dismissed and the homeowner's debt to the bank is reduced."

 

What's your opinion of this idea? Would you, as a homeowner, take on another mortgage to pay a lawyer to help you keep the home?

 

The famous legume acquires a voice (from Robert Downey Jr.) and a sidekick as part of a campaign to appear both retro and modern.

By Teresa Mears Nov 9, 2010 2:05PM

After 94 years, Mr. Peanut said his first words today.

 

As part of a makeover, Mr. Peanut is getting new clothes and a voice, provided by actor Robert Downey Jr. If baby carrots and high-fructose corn syrup can get a makeover, why not the Planters advertising icon?

While Mr. Peanut's new look is retro cool, his marketing campaign is modern. His new commercial debuted today on his Facebook page (he won't let you watch it until you "like" him) before going to TV and movie theaters. We don't believe Mr. Peanut has gone so far as to visit a tanning salon, but he also has changed color, from yellow to brown, or peanut-colored.

 

Some of today's hot items will be outdated or obsolete in a few years.

By Karen Datko Nov 9, 2010 1:10PM

This guest post comes from Josh Smith at dealnews.com.

 

Bargain hunters should champion the early adopters, who buy new gadgets at top price as soon as they are available and lower the prices for the rest of us who wait awhile.

 

While we may pant over your iPad, we will lord it over you when we pick up one of your refurbs for a steal or get a next-generation model that's monumentally better, and pay less than you did for your new one.

But there are some gifts on display this holiday season that will make losers of all of us. They are hot now, but technology cycles are so fast that these gadgets and gizmos are destined to be doorbusters today, and doorstoppers tomorrow.

 

We have traveled with the Ghost of Christmas Future to find out which of this season's big sellers are in for a final hurrah.

 

You've learned how to cook, but can you cut up a whole chicken?

By Karen Datko Nov 9, 2010 10:57AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

Inspired by this post by Eating Well on The Huffington Post, I thought I'd share a few ideas on what we do to save money on food without even noticing.

 

My No. 1 way to save money is learning how to cook. You might have a hectic schedule and be exhausted at the end of the day, but push yourself to prepare a nice meal. You'll get to enjoy it, expand your knowledge about cooking, and eat better than ordering it from some fast-food place.

You won't be good at it in the beginning, but over time your skills will improve and you'll enjoy it even more.

 

Use a leftover calendar. The No. 2 tip by Eating Well was to minimize waste.

 

So far there's no clear leader in the annual race to be the 'must-have' toy.

By Karen Datko Nov 9, 2010 8:40AM

This post comes from Truman Lewis at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us maneuver to win the hearts, minds and credit cards of holiday toy shoppers.

Wal-Mart staged a pre-emptive strike on Target over the weekend, slashing some of its prices to within a few cents of Target's. But, hoping to be a moving target, Target is putting about half of its 2,000 toys on sale this year, double last year's number.

 

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