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Week of free visits to national parks is one of the deals offered for Earth Day-Week-Month. Don't forget appliance rebates.

By Teresa Mears Apr 9, 2010 12:17PM

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than make a free visit to a U.S. national park?


In celebration of National Parks Week (which just happens to coincide with Earth Day on April 22), entry to all 392 U.S. national parks will be free April 17-25. Some park concessionaires also are offering special deals that week.


Free bagels, 25-cent Blizzards and free movie tickets for eating chocolate.

By Teresa Mears Apr 9, 2010 11:04AM

We’re heading into a great time for food deals and freebies. In addition to our normal fare, we’ve got special deals ahead for Tax Day, April 15, and deals coming up for Earth Day, April 22. We’ll be writing separate posts for those days, so check back later.

Some of the nonedible deals we wrote about last time are still good, including a free 60-day trial membership to BJ’s Wholesale club. The rising number of happy hours provides some good deals for early diners.

With some help from our friends at Cities on the Cheap, we found these new food deals and freebies:


An emergency trip cost more than I wanted to spend. But you can't put a price on some things.

By Donna_Freedman Apr 9, 2010 10:40AM
Springtime in the country whips me into a fevered state. I want to garden and then preserve the harvest. I want to pitch a clothesline and buy a wood stove.

The best I could do this week was to hang out a couple of loads of wash, help my dad stack a pickup's worth of stove lengths, rake salt hay mulch off the garden patch and sneak covetous looks at the pressure canner in his basement.

See what happens to a Seattle resident after a few days in the boonies?  

A new poll adds to the debate over what's right and fair.

By Karen Datko Apr 9, 2010 9:13AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


There’s a deep new divide in the U.S. right now, and it’s not over politics -- not the red vs. blue kind, anyway. It’s over who’s the victim and who’s the villain in the mortgage meltdown. 


A new survey, commissioned by Fannie Mae, the government agency that buys mortgages from lenders, shows that Americans are split nearly down the middle when asked whom to blame for the mortgage crisis.


The company behind has devised a clever way to avoid having to steer customers to the one site where free credit reports have no strings attached.

By Karen Datko Apr 8, 2010 6:43PM

By now you know all about sites like that offered a free credit report and also automatically signed you up for credit monitoring at a monthly fee -- unless you happened to notice that part and quickly canceled.


Because so many consumers complained about being duped, the Federal Trade Commission last week began requiring Web sites like these to clearly and conspicuously direct consumers to the official source of free credit reports -- no strings attached --


Now we learn that Experian, the owner of has -- at least for now -- found a way to skirt that rule.


The good news is that MLB ticket prices didn't jump this year, and there are discounts to be had.

By Karen Datko Apr 8, 2010 4:23PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Elizabeth Trotta at partner site SmartMoney.


For lovers of America’s pastime, “Take me out to the ball game” has been a bank-breaker for the last few years, with average ticket prices rising by 25.8% between 2005 and 2009 and 60% over the last decade. This summer, they’re still pricey, but with attendance down 3.2% so far this season, according to, it looks like someone is hitting the brakes.


Is getting the homebuyer tax credit worth rushing your purchase? Maybe and maybe not.

By Teresa Mears Apr 8, 2010 3:31PM

If you want to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for new homebuyers (or $6,500 for some repeat homebuyers), you have just 22 days to sign a contract on a house, then two more months to close.


But should you feel pressured by that deadline?


If you’re already looking for a house and you find the house you want in time, it makes sense to try to lock in a deal by the April 30 deadline for the credit, which is 10% of the purchase price or up to $8,000. But if you haven’t started looking or you don’t find a house you love in time, remember that a tax credit is just one piece of the financial puzzle you’ll need to solve to decide when (or whether) to buy a home.


A New Yorker is asking her friends to support her U.N. summer program. Worthy cause? Or tacky move?

By Janet Paskin Apr 8, 2010 12:21PM
At Bundle, our contributors are becoming expert in the ways Americans spend, save and earn money. Recently, Greg Spielberg reported the story of a young woman who is asking for money via Facebook:
Two years after graduating from NYU, Tanya Welsh was accepted to a United Nations summer program. Her problem: The program cost $2,500 -- about $2,500 more than Tanya had. Desperate to get to Geneva, Tanya posted a plea on Facebook. If each of her 300 friends gave her $8, she figured, she'd be well on her way to Switzerland. 


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