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Make sure you use the cheap stuff, though.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:58PM

Three cheers for vodka, an excellent jewelry cleaner, stain remover, glue dissolver, wasp killer, fever reliever, and cure for poison ivy and stinky feet.

We had no idea that vodka has so many uses, other than the obvious. And if you've indulged in too much of that, here's another tip from "The many uses of vodka" at Divine Caroline that may come in handy: "Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry."

If you employ any of the 19 tips on Divine Caroline's list, common sense dictates that you use the cheap stuff.


Socializing with co-workers worth more than what you'd save.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:49PM

This devil's advocate post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

This devil's advocate post attacks one of the hallmark money-saving ideas for the working professional: Bring in your own lunch. The money you save by not buying a $5 to $10 lunch every day amounts to more than $1,000 a year in savings ($5 x 48 weeks x five days = $1,200).

It's hardly bad advice and practically unassailable from a financial standpoint. But there are many reasons why you shouldn't bring in your lunch every day and eat it at your desk.


Blogger complied the best tips found on the Web.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:33PM

David at My Two Dollars has prepared what has to be the granddaddy of all how-to-save lists. His post is called, appropriately, "The big list: 1,019 different ways to save money."

OK, there is some repetition. (Believe it or not, brown-bagging your lunch for work comes up a number of times.) But David has gathered the best money-saving tips from the personal-finance blogosphere and assembled them in one place. We dare you to come up with one that's not included.

Savings tips are broken down by spending categories, including utilities, cars, food and health care. Among the links:


You can sign up for e-mail alerts about defective products.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:08PM

We got a lukewarm response when we urged readers to sign up for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's daily e-mail report about recalls. How boring, you thought. Well, folks, you don't know what you're missing.

Every day we scan the e-mail and invariably cringe. At the top of today's list: Under Armour's voluntary recall of about 211,000 athletic cups. Wouldn't you want to know about it if you owned one of them? It also said:

Hazard: The cups can break if hit, posing a risk of serious injury hazard to athletes.

Incidents/injuries: Under Armour has received five reports of cups breaking, including an injury involving cuts and bruising. 

We tried to warn you. And sometimes these notices are even worse.


Do you ever regret not spending?

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 8:21PM

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

As any reader of Bad Money Advice knows, I enjoy nothing more than tweaking the nose of personal-finance conventional wisdom. Well, joy of joys, The New York Times recently had an article, in the science section no less, that spits in conventional wisdom's face, knees it in the groin and then kicks it as it rolls on the ground.

The piece discussed the work (.pdf file) of Ran Kivetz and Anat Keinan, two professors of marketing from the Columbia and Harvard business schools, respectively. (Marketing professor is, incidentally, the same line of work as the authors of "The Millionaire Next Door.") They have discovered a new malady to avoid: saver's remorse. It's just what it sounds like: that sad feeling you get with money in your pocket that you could have spent in some enjoyable way but, in a moment of weakness, chose to save.

This is just so awesome.


Free entertainment abounds online.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 8:13PM

One luxury you can cut when costs for essentials are rising is your cable or satellite TV service. But how can you still watch your favorite shows?

David at My Two Dollars presents "35 ways to watch television without cable or satellite," and he's not just talking rabbit ears. After Option No. 1, an antenna, the rest are Web sites. Readers provided more suggestions, so the list is now up to 42 possibilities.


With a little care, your duds won't die early.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 7:31PM

This post comes from Andrea Dickson at partner blog Wise Bread.

With everyone trying to stretch their dollars further these days, it makes sense to take care of the things we have, rather than buy replacements. This goes for clothing as much as anything else we own and use on a daily basis.

As a reformed clotheshorse, I struggle to prevent myself from shopping for new duds on a daily basis.


If you delay using them, you can achieve bigger savings.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 7:14PM

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

Many people don't bother to clip coupons, mostly because they believe that a 50-cent coupon isn't worth the effort. On the surface, I agree. Without a clever coupon strategy, it's probably not worth the effort.

About two months ago, I was talking about this with a friend who works for Hy-Vee, a grocery store chain here in Iowa. He gave me a tip: Take the coupon section out of the Sunday paper and put it aside for four weeks. Then open it up and clip everything that's even remotely of interest, whether you'd normally buy it or not.



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