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Sure, you should buy gently used cars, but at what point should you get rid of them?

By Karen Datko Apr 22, 2010 1:26PM

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


My basic advice on cars is that you should buy them mildly used, two to four years old, and drive them until they are inert heaps of rust. This is based on the commonplace observation that used cars are generally a better deal for buyers, that is that, relative to new ones, they are cheaper than really makes sense.


Whether this disconnect between new and used car prices is because consumers irrationally prefer new ones or irrationally fear used ones is a metaphysical question I am not going to answer. But the gap is there, and many personal-finance types will advise you to buy used rather than new because of it. I don’t disagree, but there is an equally important second principle to be drawn from the new/used price anomaly. Besides “never buy new” there is “never sell used.”


New guide provides tips for saving money while saving the environment.

By Teresa Mears Apr 22, 2010 1:24PM

Just in time for Earth Day, Coupon Sherpa has published a new guide on living a frugal eco-friendly life. And it’s free. (You can read it online or download a .pdf file, but “don’t you dare print it!” the site admonishes).


Coupon Sherpa’s “Eco Frugal Life Guide,” by Ashley Grimaldo and Luke Knowles, provides suggestions for living a frugal, green life in a variety of categories, from food to home to travel. They write:

It's a popular misconception that "going green" -- certainly a nice idea in theory -- is a lifestyle far too expensive for most regular folks to afford. Sure, if you want to install solar panels or geothermal heating in your house, you're going to have to spend some cash. But the core values of environmentally conscious living -- reusing, renewing, conserving, sustaining -- are as frugal as can be! Eco-frugal living isn't just a fad, it's a growing necessity for millions of people worldwide. Saving the green in your wallet, and the green outside your window really can, and should, go hand in hand.

Retailers offer discounts for eco-friendly practices, but savings can be slim.

By Karen Datko Apr 22, 2010 12:10PM

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


Companies are increasingly willing to offer consumers discounts for green behaviors such as recycling electronics and receiving statements electronically. But while the behaviors can have an environmental impact, the savings for consumers are usually nominal.


Among the recent movements: Last year, Target began offering a 5-cent discount to shoppers who pack purchases in a reusable tote, while CVS launched a green tag program that offers shoppers a $1 store credit for every four visits they bring a bag. (The program costs 99 cents to join.) And last week, Starbucks offered free coffee to customers who brought in a refillable mug as a way to publicize its campaign to reduce paper cup waste.


They can often be had for free, and you can use them to build all kinds of things you can use or sell.

By Karen Datko Apr 22, 2010 10:57AM

This guest post comes from Buck Weber at The Buck List.


My last 9-to-5 job was an IT position. I had my own office in the front office area, and in the same building was the company’s in-house print shop and the supply department warehouse. Paper for the printing presses and supplies for the warehouse all came on wood pallets. What was not taken home by employees was stacked outside the building with the hope that others would come along and take them away.

Enter the scruffy guys in old beat-up pickup trucks, driving their daily routes looking for pallets to resell to pallet companies.


Yes, but is it really worth your time? Here's what an experiment shows.

By Karen Datko Apr 22, 2010 7:29AM

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


Mal writes in:

I loved your post about how little you save by not flushing. You should do the same thing about your favorite bugaboo, rewashing Ziploc bags!

Rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags is something that I’ve joked about being a frugality “step too far” since the first days of The Simple Dollar. In March 2009, I prepared a post on this very topic, intending to present it in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion on April 1, 2009, but I never got around to posting it. Why? It read too close to being serious, as though I were strongly advocating rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags as a method to become a millionaire. (I do, in fact, rewash those large, ultra-durable gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags.)


However, I did do some real research into the topic to find out how much a person could actually save by rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags. Here’s what I learned.


You can save money while saving the planet. Free mugs, cleanser, plants and $1 ink refills.

By Teresa Mears Apr 21, 2010 11:39PM

Today, April 22, is Earth Day, and the only thing better than saving the planet is getting free stuff while saving the planet.

We’ve already told you about the great deal for free admission to national parks through April 25.


He's now obsessed with the show and determined to watch every past episode before the 'Lost' finale.

By Karen Datko Apr 21, 2010 2:50PM

This guest post comes from “PT” at ptMoney.


I have a confession: I’ve recently become obsessed with the TV series “Lost.”


I tried watching an episode or two in the past but just couldn’t get into it. It’s really one of those shows you had to be watching from the start to appreciate.


Anyway, several weeks ago ABC began running the previous week’s episode an hour before the new show (I watch TV for free -- I get ABC over the air via antenna) and they've included subtitles to give you some context about what's going on. That was enough to get me hooked.


We live in a culture where a person's value is measured in dollars. Let's rethink that.

By Karen Datko Apr 21, 2010 1:23PM

This guest post comes from “vh” at Funny about Money.


Simple Life in France recently wrote on a subject that seems to be worrying a number of women in my circle. It’s a concern that speaks with profound irony to women d’un certain âge. “What would my husband think,” she wonders, if she decided never to go back to work but instead to devote herself to being ... ah, let’s say it: “just a housewife?” And into “what he would think,” let’s read the more invidious “what would everyone else think?”



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