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Plus you can find free glasses, BOGO meals and treats, and a mystery from Dairy Queen.

By Karen Datko Mar 4, 2011 5:53PM

Friday arrived pretty quickly this week, and once again it's time to review food and other freebies and deals. Bring on the weekend. 


A great deal right now is half off the cost of the 2011 Entertainment Book, plus free shipping, through March 14. The Entertainment Book wouldn't make sense in the rural community where I live, but Donna Freedman is a big fan of the Seattle edition. You can check here to see if there's a book available where you live or for a city you plan to visit.

Meanwhile, our pal Julia Scott, aka Bargain Babe, tipped her readers off to a free prescription glasses offer going on right now via this Facebook page for 

With the average car insurance premium costing more than $120 a month, why pay for unnecessary coverage? Trim that bill.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 4, 2011 3:11PM

This post comes from Michael Deane at partner site Investopedia.


Car insurance is one of your biggest bills every month. According to, the average yearly premiums for 2011, so far, are about $1,441 -- which is more than $120 per month, putting this expense on par with utilities, cell phones and cable bills.


To cut down on this large expense, it's best to know what types of car insurance you need to avoid.


J$ takes the quiz and finds out he's "got cash projections that even the Trumps would admire."

By MSN Money Partner Mar 4, 2011 2:15PM

This guest post comes from J. Money at Budgets are Sexy.


I like to take silly quizzes when I'm bored. Especially the ones that try to figure out the essence of your being. I like them because you already know all the answers! It's like acing the test of YOU. And who knows YOU more than you do? (I do! Wait, what?)


Recently I was fortunate enough to find a quiz like that, only having to do with money.


Requiring higher down payments could keep many responsible buyers out of the housing market.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 4, 2011 12:51PM

This post comes from Jeff Brown at partner site MainStreet.


Mortgages with low down payments were widely seen as contributing to the financial crisis still reverberating in today's weak housing market, and the solution is obvious: require bigger down payments.


That's among the housing-market remedies proposed by the Obama administration, which last month called for gradually raising the down payment requirement on conventional loans to 10% on loans issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


But not everyone agrees. 


It might seem harsh, but lying about being a smoker is insurance fraud and that is not something taken lightly.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 4, 2011 10:57AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.


Both my mom and her mom were smokers. My mom still is. My grandmother stopped smoking when we used her failing memory to trick her into thinking she had quit smoking years ago. Not exactly the proudest moment in my life, but it got the job done. I plan to use the same strategy with my mom in about 10 years. (Mom, if you're reading this, just kidding -- NOT.)


And that brings me to the cost of life insurance for smokers.


Excuses are a convenient tool for those who don't want to admit they are to blame for their situation.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 4, 2011 10:06AM

This guest post comes from Len Penzo at Len Penzo dot Com.


My 13-year-old son, Matthew, had a bit of a tantrum last week -- OK, actually it was a full-scale meltdown -- after he found out that I wouldn't let him ride his BMX bicycle until he got the brakes repaired.


It turns out his bike brakes broke (try saying that three times in a row) the previous week while he was doing some complex stunt called, if I remember correctly, a "toothpick hangover." Or maybe it was a "howyadoin' grind," which -- as everybody knows -- is a rail hop 180 to an icepick to a half-cab 180 off. (OK, you got me. Thank God for Wikipedia, or I would have never known that either.)


Anyway, the reason for my son's ire was he didn't have enough money to pay for the repairs. Of course, that meant, until Matthew earned enough money to get his bike fixed, he would be severely impacted when it came to getting around town to visit his friends. I know what you're thinking: Why don't you stop being such a cheapskate, Len, and pay for your son's brake job?


I'll tell you why.


Here are some tips for trying to buy individual coverage when you aren't insured through the workplace.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 3, 2011 6:46PM

This guest post comes from Jonathan at My Money Blog.


In a recent New York Times op-ed piece entitled "Money won't buy you health insurance," Donna Dubinsky shared her troubles with getting individual health insurance coverage, even though she has many millions from co-founding Palm.


Based on the article, here are some ways to improve your chances of getting coverage:


On vacation? Hit the local library for info, free entertainment, Internet access and maybe even a free museum pass.

By Donna_Freedman Mar 3, 2011 4:47PM
I'm writing this from the Westminster Public Reference Library in London. The "common room" at the tourist hostel where I'm staying is too noisy to work in, even when I'm wearing earplugs.

There are other reasons to go to the library while on vacation, too.  


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