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Free chicken, ice cream and Slurpees, plus a deal from Starbucks and a slew of dining coupons.

By Teresa Mears Jul 9, 2010 11:54AM

It's not every Friday that we celebrate Cow Appreciation Day as well as food deals and freebies. If you dress like a cow today, you can get free chicken at Chick-fil-A.

 

If you prefer your milk in one of those much-maligned lattes, Starbucks has brought back its Treat Receipt deal. If you make a purchase at Starbucks early in the day, you can bring back your receipt after 2 p.m. and get a grande cold beverage for $2. The promotion continues through Oct. 4.

 

While we're appreciating dairy products, Ben and Jerry's also has a promotion: Volunteer through the Scoop It Forward program and get a coupon for free Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The promotion continues through Dec. 31 or as long as supplies last.

 

Unless you're watching most of your movies via streaming, you need to decide which plan provides the most value.

By Karen Datko Jul 9, 2010 10:29AM

This post comes from Michael at partner blog The Dough Roller.

 

Netflix runs an online DVD rental business with nearly 14 million subscribers. While Blockbuster struggles to avoid bankruptcy, Netflix continues to develop new streaming technology and to regularly produce higher than expected earnings. 

 

One thing that hasn't changed in a while, though, is the cost to be a Netflix member. 

 

The economics of Netflix is quite simple. The more DVDs you  rent via mail at a time, the more money it's going to cost you. Each additional DVD added to your plan costs between $3 and $7, and the most complicated thing about Netflix is figuring out which plan is best for you.

 

Health care reform didn't include dental insurance for all. Fortunately, you don't have to grin and bear it.

By Stacy Johnson Jul 9, 2010 8:35AM

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

 

A trip to the dentist has become symbolic of things we hate to do, for good reason. If having a stranger's hands in your mouth isn't bad enough, odds are good you're also swallowing the cost.

 

According to the National Association of Dental Plans (.pdf file), about 43% of Americans don't have dental insurance. If you're one of them, you don't have to just grin and bear it. There are ways to get dental work for less.

 

Offers by Boston jewelers for the same items ranged from $485 to $1,000.

By Karen Datko Jul 8, 2010 3:52PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

With gold prices at historic highs, many consumers are considering turning that broken necklace or single earring into cash. A survey of downtown Boston jewelers shows consumers need to shop around for the best price.

 

The survey, conducted by Massachusetts consumer protection officials during the week of June 7 when gold prices were about $1,200 an ounce, included 10 jewelry stores in Boston's Downtown Crossing and Chinatown neighborhoods. Jewelers were presented a bag of gold jewelry and asked for an estimated purchase price. The offers ranged from $485 to $1,000.

 

"Our survey shows significant differences in the prices various jewelers will pay average consumers for their gold.

 

It's not the first time someone has lost coverage because they underpaid by a penny. And it likely won't be the last.

By Karen Datko Jul 8, 2010 2:10PM

Jobless and undergoing chemotherapy, a Colorado leukemia patient learned that she no longer had health insurance because she underpaid the premium by a penny.

 

The story of La Rosa Carrington, 52, was relayed by the Colorado Springs Gazette. What's even more remarkable is, this isn't the first time an insurance company or benefits administrator has dropped coverage over a lousy cent.

"We’ve seen it before," June Harryman, a supervisory benefits adviser for the federal Employee Benefits Security Administration, told the Gazette. "It's not the first, and it won’t be the last."

 

Here's how this came about:

 

The economy here and abroad will determine the fate of interest rates. With rates near 4.5%, it may be time to consider refinancing.

By Teresa Mears Jul 8, 2010 12:40PM

As mortgage rates hit a new record low this week, two questions come to mind:

  • How low will rates go?
  • And when will they head back up again?

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan fell for the third straight week, to 4.57%, down from 4.58% last week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The average rate for a 15-year loan was 4.07%, up from 4.04% last week.

The 30-year rate is the lowest since Freddie Mac started keeping records in 1971 and the lowest recorded by the Bureau of Economic Statistics since February 1955, when home-loan terms were shorter than 30 years.

 

Who is going to take care of me when I can no longer care for myself?

By Karen Datko Jul 8, 2010 11:27AM

This guest post comes from "vh" at Funny about Money.

 

Lately I've been considering where I'm going to live during the next and presumably last stage of my life.

 

It's a question that was brought into sharper focus when I fell and hurt myself badly enough that I couldn't easily take care of my home or myself. The shoulder still isn't healed, but even though it hurts quite a lot, on and off, all the physical work around this house still has to be done. Caring for the pool (a daily project), dealing with the quarter-acre yard, cleaning and maintaining a four-bedroom house -- they all represent physical labor. And there's no one here to help.

Just now I ache all over my body, as though the shoulder pain spread to every other joint all the way down to the toes. But none of the work can be put off just because my back hurts.

 

Clearly, I'm not going to be able to care for this house for many more years.

 

Here are some tactics for teaching deferred gratification -- and how a 4-year-old boy has responded to them.

By Karen Datko Jul 8, 2010 9:44AM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.

 

The single biggest personal-finance lesson that anyone can learn is that of delayed gratification.

 

Delayed gratification means that you hold off buying that new cell phone so that you can pay cash for your car in a few years. It means that you immediately save some of your paycheck instead of giving yourself the possibility of spending it now.

 

The more often you practice delayed gratification, the sweeter the gratification becomes later and the more possibilities unfold in your life. Delayed gratification brings financial stability and with it, lower stress. It brings the realization of bigger dreams, too.

 

It's one of the things that I most want to integrate into the lives of my children.

 

The question is obvious: How do you possibly teach delayed gratification to a 4-year-old?

 

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