The retailer charges for reusable shopping bags as part of its effort to help the environment.
In another effort to go green, Wal-Mart has quit providing free bags to customers at three of its stores in Northern California.
According to The Sacramento Bee, the move is part of an experiment to see whether customers are willing to bring their own bags to help the environment. If they forget bags, they can buy reusable bags from Wal-Mart in two sizes, for 15 cents and 50 cents. The company is also training checkers to put more in each bag.
I don't expect a dollar to fund my dream. But I won't sweat an occasional greenback spent on the weekly drawing.
I'll pause for a moment to give some of you the chance to draw in a big ol' breath of righteous indignation.
All puffed up now? Let's hear it:
Get free tacos, then download free workout music to stay in shape.
It’s time for Friday food deals and freebies, with a little help from our friends at Cities on the Cheap.
Some of last week’s deals are still valid, including any size pizza at Pizza Hut for $10. If you’d rather have Papa John’s or Domino’s, check their Web sites before you order. The big pizza chains often offer a list of neighborhood-specific coupons after you enter your address.
- Bing: Best free workouts
Don’t forget the usual disclaimer: Not all local restaurants participate in all national promotions so it’s wise to check ahead of time.
Here are the latest deals:
Even if you're in your 50s, it's not too late to get started.
A reader recently asked about financial goals for those 50 years old or better. Here’s her question:
Now I'd like to know if you can list ways of setting up long-term goals for people 50 years and over. At least some examples would do the trick.
While I’m not quite 50, I’m much closer than I care to admit. And so the reader’s question was timely for me. And it got me thinking about whether financial goals should be different based on your age. The answer it seems to me is unequivocally yes. It’s not that any particular age is significant, but your stage in life likely will affect your goals and desires. And why shouldn’t financial goals be part of this?
So I sat down and thought through what financial goals many baby boomers should have or at least strongly consider. What came from that exercise is the following list of five financial goals.
An extended warranty might keep you from a budget-busting repair bill. But make sure you buy it right.
You insure against untimely death, bad health and damage to your property. Should you insure against giant car repair bills too?
An extended warranty can provide protection against a budget-busting bill. But keep it in park until you understand what they do and how they work.
It's not quite as bad as it sounds, but you too could see this on your card statement.
As the Feb. 22 deadline approaches for most of the new Credit CARD Act requirements to kick in, weirdness abounds. CBS MoneyWatch columnist Kathy Kristof can attest to that.
She opened up the first bill for her new Macy’s store credit card and read that the “minimum interest charge" on her average daily balance “worked out to ‘an actual annual percentage rate’ of 703.8%,” she wrote.
What, we thought -- are our eyes deceiving us? Sure enough, the headline on her post is “Credit reform and my new 703.8% card.” There is an explanation for this, and you should read it, lest you open your credit card bill and suffer a heart attack.
We're creatures of habit, and our new habit of saving more is sinking in.
Will people continue to save, pay down debt and pursue frugal ways once the economy noticeably improves (oh, and can that day come soon enough)? Everyone has an opinion about that, but when Dan Ariely speaks, we tend to listen very closely.
Ariely thinks we’re developing a new set of habits.
He’s the Duke University behavioral economist (formerly at MIT) who wrote the bestselling book, “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.” In it, he examines why we make the spending choices we do. For instance, “free” compels us to do strange things.
Best option is to give cash to a reputable organization that has a track record of working in Haiti.
A tragedy of the magnitude of the earthquake that hit Haiti makes us want to help, but we also want to make sure that our donations get to the people in need. Scams diverted much-needed aid sent to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The best strategy is to give to an established charity that is already working in Haiti. Haiti is an extraordinarily complex country, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere even before this disaster. It is not an easy place to work.
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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