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The March issue of Real Simple magazine had a fantastic feature called "71 ways to spend smarter." With the magazine's permission, I'm sharing 15 of my favorite tips from that issue.
Printing at home will save you time and money.
This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.
I hate going to the post office. It doesn't matter what day I go or what time of day I go, there is always a line and there's always only one or two people working behind the counter.
I've gone to post offices that serve a large residential ZIP code and post offices that serve a smaller residential ZIP code, and there is always a line and never enough workers. If we're near a holiday, forget it -- I'll be waiting in line for at least half an hour. If you visit the PO with any regularity, I bet you understand my pain.
Restaurant's owner boasts his food is 'going to kill you.'
We've reported on numerous restaurant deals, but none quite like this one at the Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Ariz.: If you weigh 350 pounds or more, you can eat for free all day long. That's a heck of a deal considering the cheapest burger -- the Single Bypass -- costs about $7.40.
We have to give "Dr. Jon," who runs this place, kudos for truth in advertising. With buns dipped in lard and Flatliner Fries cooked in pig fat, too, this is killer food, so to speak. The good "doctor" says in one video that "this is bad for you and it's going to kill you," and adds in another that all fast-food restaurants should post health warnings.
Maybe younger folks will learn and pledge 'never again.'
Baby boomers have been receiving a lot of criticism in recent months for their collective contributions to our country's economic problems.
First, we are blamed for an extreme amount of debt-driven consumption that inflated highly leveraged real estate and credit bubbles. Second, we are now being blamed for an excess of saving when many so-called economic experts are calling for increased consumer spending. In general, boomers are probably guilty on both counts.
I have a suggestion.
Instead of wasting energy hurling insults at financially irresponsible baby boomers, why don't we make a list of all the money mistakes that were made by the boomer generation? The younger folks can read the list and then pledge "never again." I hereby volunteer to start the list of boomer mistakes. Here we go:
Many of today's fixed expenses are for luxuries.
This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.
When I was young, my parents always managed to make ends meet, even though my mother was a stay-at-home mom (she had a part-time job of less than 10 hours a week when I was in school) and my father worked in a factory. Sure, we were able to bring in a little extra money by fishing and we lived very frugally at times, but my parents were able to raise three children on the income of one factory worker.
Flash forward to today. That scenario is basically impossible. Virtually every family I know either has both parents working full time or one of the partners earning a very solid income. The idea that one parent can work a typical factory job while the other parent stays at home is pretty much a thing of the past.
A summer spent serving hot dogs can scar you for life.
Daniel at Casual Kitchen gave up fast-food burgers for life after working for one summer at a Burger King. The experience of making thousands of burgers -- and that was 20 years ago -- ensured that he just couldn't face another one. (He can still eat french fries.)
"Being around this food so much cured me of this ‘cuisine' for the rest of my life," he wrote in a post called "Scarred for life by a food industry job."
Dan asked: Do readers have similar experiences to share? That question opened up a mini floodgate. (Our thanks to Kris at Cheap Healthy Good for the link.)
When was the last time you cleaned your coils?
Your refrigerator/freezer combo is the biggest energy consumer among all of your appliances -- seriously. It gobbles about $100 in energy each year. Even worse, it's often home to lots of wasted food -- leftovers forgotten and allowed to spoil, etc.
To put it simply, your refrigerator and freezer are money sinks. They're expensive in the first place, gobble down energy like there's no tomorrow, and sometimes ruin the food that's inside. What's a thrifty person to do?
Here are a few simple techniques to overcome and reduce these costs with surprisingly little effort.
Blogger has some unique money-saving ideas.
"Frugal Dad" provides 75 tips for cutting back to help your budget withstand the impact of rising gas prices, higher food prices and our other economic ills. We love compilations like this because you can print them out and put them on the fridge.
Frugal Dad covers a lot of ground here, and has some ideas we hadn't considered. He cuts bottled juice with water to make it last twice as long. To save money but salvage his social life, he meets friends after the dinner hour. Eating out, after all, can be a mighty budget buster.
Here are some other samples (click here to read the entire list):
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