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Some of these restaurant food challenges also come with T-shirts and cash prizes.

By Karen Datko Jan 19, 2010 4:07PM

We love that TV show “Man v. Food,” where Adam Richman stuffs his face with hot wings by the truckload or enough oysters to clog the Panama Canal. (OK, we exaggerate somewhat.) In many of these settings, you don’t have to pay if you can meet the restaurant’s challenge.


Better yet, sometimes you can win cash.


Now you can easily find many of these "deals," thanks to a post (with photos!) at Coupon Sherpa. The first stop is Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, Pa., where two people can chow down for free on the 15-pound Belly Buster burger -- if the entire thing is gone in three hours. 


Injuries to pedestrians on cell phones are rising, demonstrating another down side of multitasking.

By Teresa Mears Jan 19, 2010 2:35PM

You may think you can walk and chew gum at the same time, but you’d better think twice before you add talking on the phone or texting.


We all know about the dangers of distracted driving. But even on foot, our ability to multitask may not be what we think it is, The New York Times reports.


The number of people injured while walking and texting or talking on a cell phone is on the rise, The Times reports, citing a study by Ohio State University professor Jack L. Nasar.


Some employers offer them as a benefit, but are you better off with a la carte?

By Karen Datko Jan 19, 2010 12:21PM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


A few years ago, my former company began offering prepaid legal plans as an employee benefit. I forget the exact terms of the deal but it worked a lot like medical insurance. You paid a set amount each month and you had access to the plan’s pool of lawyers. The pool could prepare certain documents for you, such as a will, and you could have consultations several times a year.


As young professionals, none of my friends took advantage of the plan because there didn’t seem to be a need for it, but I wondered whether prepaid legal plans were worth it.


Loyalty has its rewards -- but it can also cost you.

By Karen Datko Jan 19, 2010 11:09AM

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


Trying to spur sales, retailers have begun offering extra perks to their biggest spenders. Starbucks last week unveiled a new rewards program that separates members into one of three tiers, based on how often they visit. Higher-tier members get free drinks, free refills and lots of extra coupons. Microsoft is also testing a three-tier approach to its Xbox LIVE Rewards Program.


Such tiers have become essential in the down economy, says Kelly Hlavinka, a partner at Colloquy, a loyalty marketing research firm. The chance for better rewards in these free programs entices shoppers to consolidate their spending. “It really puts out a carrot for consumers to strive for,” she says.


But should you bite?


Settle your debts for pennies on the dollar. Hype or hope? Let's find out.

By Stacy Johnson Jan 19, 2010 9:19AM

Debt-settlement companies are advertising a lot these days on TV, radio and online. Their ads will say something like “Reduce your debt balances 40-60%! Be debt-free in 12 to 36 months!”


Sounds tempting, but is it worth it? I’d be super careful


The lawsuit accused the food giant of making false 'no antibiotics' claims.

By Karen Datko Jan 18, 2010 3:08PM

This post comes from Jon Hood at partner site


Tyson Foods has agreed to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit accusing the food giant of falsely claiming that its chickens were “raised without antibiotics.”


Under the proposed settlement, Tyson will pay consumers up to $5 million, with each class member eligible to receive up to $50. If there is money left over, Tyson will donate the difference to food banks. The agreement also provides for $3 million in attorneys' fees.


Spending on meals out has grown noticeably but I've also made progress in another important area.

By Karen Datko Jan 18, 2010 10:39AM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.


Every January since I started Get Rich Slowly, I’ve done an annual roundup of my discretionary spending. That’s not going to happen this year. The numbers are hopelessly muddled by events that created under-reporting in some categories and over-reporting in others. (Kris and I paid for our 2010 vacations in 2009, for example.)


Rather than sort things out, I want to talk about a couple of my spending habits instead. One is a worrisome trend, and one is a thing I’m doing right.


Here's how to find the right one.

By Stacy Johnson Jan 18, 2010 10:29AM

For the next several months, I’m doing TV news stories and writing blog entries that are designed to help you find motivation, methods and extra money to pay off debt.


But this story is for those who can't yet embark on a debt-destroying mission because their debt is currently destroying them. 



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