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A top strategy for 2011 includes allowing shopping carts across different brands to be combined online.

By Karen Datko Jan 3, 2011 12:30PM

This guest post comes from Aaron Crowe at dealnews.com.

 

If you've ever felt as if your suggestions or complaints about stores were ignored, changes coming in 2011 might actually make you a believer. You want convenience, lots of choice and lower prices, right? It's on the agenda.

We've tracked down five big improvements coming up in retail, based on reports from Retail Customer Experience and from talking to other retail experts. Here's what you can expect:

 

Statistics show that women aren't as flighty with their spending habits as is commonly believed.

By Karen Datko Jan 3, 2011 11:17AM

This post comes from April Dykman at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

Do women need specialized personal-finance resources specific to our gender? That's what some financial advice books seem to imply. Slate writer Hannah Seligson points out that bookseller Amazon.com has a "money management for women" category, but no category specifically for men.

Some of the cheekier titles in the category include:

There seems to be a general theme around spending. Even as I was writing this post, I saw an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" where, to cover up his own overspending, Raymond blames his wife, Debra, for compulsive spending.

 

Compromise, and make a list of house rules if you have to. Just don't fight.

By Karen Datko Jan 3, 2011 10:01AM

This guest post comes from I am the working poor.

 

With the economy as it is, more and more people are moving in together out of necessity. I've been in similar situations myself. Some of them worked out and others did not.

This is one of the ways that homeless people can find themselves completely homeless. When friends or family become completely aggravated with the close quarters or dueling personalities, tempers flare and agreements erode.

Now that I am older, I have become the host. My youngest daughter stays with me occasionally and my son stayed for a while. I just learned that my eldest daughter is 99% sure that she wants to move in for a while.

 

Free hash browns, coupon for bagel poppers and Oscar-watching pizza parties are among this week's deals.

By Teresa Mears Dec 31, 2010 2:43PM

If you're one of the many who received a Kindle book reader for Christmas or Hanukkah, you may be wondering where you can get some free books.

 

The public library is a top spot, of course, and now you can share books with friends. But you can also get free Kindle downloads from Amazon, including the top 100 free Kindle books.

 

If, like me, you didn't get a Kindle and are still reading paper books, we recommend Goodwill, as well as the public library, for good reading on a budget.

 

For snacks, you may want some food coupons. One of your New Year's resolutions is to eat better while saving money, right?

 

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Penner awards.

By Karen Datko Dec 31, 2010 1:56PM

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

 

As 2010 comes to a close, I think it is only appropriate that I share my picks for the 10 dumbest money stories of the past year, highlighting some of the most dumbfounding displays of numismatic naiveté and financial ineptitude known to man.

That's right, folks. Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Penner awards! Ba-da-bing!

 

Now, I know what you're thinking: Hey, Len, so why on earth should you be the one to give out such a prestigious award?

 

More food pantries are helping financially struggling pet owners. Even Meals on Wheels sometimes delivers cat food.

By Teresa Mears Dec 31, 2010 1:32PM

The recession has brought heart-wrenching stories of pets abandoned in foreclosed homes or surrendered to shelters when their financially strapped owners could no longer keep them.

 

In recent years, organizations have sought to help people with financial challenges keep their pets.

 

The Meals on Wheels organizations that provide hot meals to elderly people have added deliveries of pet food in some areas.

 

"We discovered last year that many of our seniors share their meals with their pets, because they can't afford pet food," Allison Adams, care manager for Meals on Wheels in Spokane, Wash., told The Spokesman-Review. "Some people may not understand that a pet is that important to someone, but I wasn't surprised when we discovered our clients were sharing their own meals with their dogs and cats."

 

The mini-cupcake bakery is yet another example of creeping clutter. Time for a little post-holiday purging?

By Donna_Freedman Dec 31, 2010 10:23AM

I received a Bed Bath & Beyond gift card for Christmas. Yesterday I hit that store's post-holiday clearance sale with an eye toward buying birthday or Christmas gifts for the coming year.

I walked out with four presents that I didn't pay for and still a little credit on the gift card. That should have made me happy. But I just couldn't shake the image of the mini-cupcake bakery.

This tabletop device is, I swear, an Easy-Bake Oven for grown-ups. It looks something like a waffle iron and promises cupcakes in five minutes. Although I like cupcakes as much as the next person, I can't help wondering if we've all lost our minds.

 

Amazon now lets e-book buyers lend those books to friends, but there are restrictions.

By Karen Datko Dec 30, 2010 7:52PM

One of the major complaints about the Kindle -- Amazon's top-selling product of all time -- is that you can't loan the Amazon e-books you own to a friend.

 

Well, now you can -- with several restrictions (reaffirming the public library's status as the best place to borrow books).

 

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