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Companies have found more ways to get coupons to budget-conscious shoppers. Here's how to find them, and avoid counterfeits.

By Karen Datko Sep 21, 2010 12:08PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.


Frugal consumers have become fast and furious with their coupon-clipping habits.


During the first half of 2010, coupon use increased 7% compared with the same period a year ago, reports redemption-services consulting firm Inmar.

"Now that people have started using coupons, it's a frugality habit," says Matthew Tilley, marketing director at Inmar. Overall, coupon use increased 27% last year compared with the year before -- the first time it had risen in 17 years. Estimated savings: $3.5 billion, or $800 million more than in 2008. That's a whole lot of $1-off frozen dinners.


If only she'd known then what she knows now -- plus a story.

By Karen Datko Sep 21, 2010 9:53AM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.


As summer draws to a close, gazillions of monumentally stoked 18-year-olds have left the warmly comfy, comfy warmth of their hometowns for four years in cinderblock lecture halls. Yet college isn't all reading, studying, and sporadically penning 25-page papers on FCC v. Pacifica (1978). It's also occasion to figure stuff out -- like how to seriously manage your adult life for the first time.

Fortunately for this blog, that adjustment period has much to do with frugality, food and health. High school grads everywhere will be budgeting and cooking for themselves, and the initial months won't be easy. I know, because once upon a time (the year 45 B.C.) I was there.

Looking back, I think I did OK. Still, there are quite a few CHG-type things I wish I had known before I left home. Like ...

How to feed myself competently and frugally. My parents were excellent providers and decent cooks who fed us rounded meals from birth through late adolescence. Yet somehow, after 17 years, I never picked up on simple concepts like "eat a vegetable, doofus," or "an all-mozzarella stick diet will bankrupt, then KILL YOU."


The mystery continues -- for 3 years now. Here are theories about what's behind the debacle.

By Karen Datko Sep 21, 2010 9:04AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


Three years into the mortgage crisis, lenders are still way, way behind in modifying mortgages. What gives, exactly?

Here's the data: Most -- 60% -- of homeowners who're seriously late (60 days or more) on house payments haven't heard a peep from their lender's loss mitigation department. That's from a report last month by the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group. "Loss mitigation," as you might guess, includes forbearance, modifying or refinancing the loan.


Groundhog Day

Is it "Groundhog Day" all over again? Two years ago the same group was complaining about the same issue:


When you think of the library, you may envision driving to the nearest branch. But what if all you had to do was log on to the library website?

By Stacy Johnson Sep 20, 2010 5:02PM

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


You know e-books have arrived when the president of the United States is writing one.


On Nov. 16, President Obama's third book will debut. But unlike his previous two -- "Dreams From My Father" (1995) and "The Audacity of Hope" (2006) -- this one will also be available as a digital download. Called "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," it's described as a children's book about "13 groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation."

But the book itself is part of a trend shaping our nation. E-books are no longer high-tech innovations for early adopters.


The latest venture for the 88-year-old actress is a line of hoodies with earbuds. Maybe respect for her will rub off on the rest of us.

By Teresa Mears Sep 20, 2010 4:06PM

Patricia Reid probably wishes she were Betty White.


While Betty is enjoying a new popularity and a new TV series at age 88, Patricia has been looking for a job for four years, even though at 57 she's young enough to be Betty's daughter.

The veteran actress' success is a reminder that being old doesn't mean being irrelevant. But many older workers are finding that, even if they'd like to work until they're 88, they may not get the opportunity.


The average age of vehicles on the list of most frequently stolen cars is 12 years.

By Karen Datko Sep 20, 2010 2:31PM

This post comes from Jim Sloan at partner site


The popular 1994 Honda Accord, followed closely by the '95 Civic and '91 Toyota Camry, tops the list of the most frequently stolen cars in the nation last year.

The ranking of the most popular targets of car thieves was compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing insurance fraud and vehicle theft.


NICB spokesman Frank Scafidi says he wasn't surprised that the plucky '94 Accord topped the list.


Some travel destinations are still recovering. Where to go before they get too pricey.

By Karen Datko Sep 20, 2010 1:38PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.


As more people put off travel during the recession, incredibly cheap travel deals cropped up. But now, business and leisure travel are picking up -- and with them, hotel rates.

In Bali, for example, the average price paid for a hotel room during the second quarter of the year climbed 57% over the same period in 2009 (to an average per-night room rate of $203). New York City saw an average price jump of 14% (to $224) over the same period.


Does that mean it's a bad time to travel? Not necessarily.


A short -- and achievable -- list of rules regarding your finances.

By Donna_Freedman Sep 20, 2010 12:00PM

Want to drop a bad habit or develop a good one? You need a plan. Or, rather, you need a list.

We Americans love our lists. We especially love short lists. Just check the headlines on magazines, Internet news sites or blogs. You'll almost certainly see ones like "3 easy steps to lose weight/stop smoking/become a millionaire."

Having a list makes us feel we're already halfway to achieving our goals. Lists make us feel confident and in charge: I've got it all figured out! Now I just have to implement it!

It's never really that simple, of course.



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