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Free Christmas songs for iTunes and Amazon, plus a free poinsettia.

By Teresa Mears Dec 11, 2009 1:22PM

It’s time for Friday freebies and food deals, but the deal makers seem to be settling down for a long winter’s nap, or at least a holiday hiatus. Some of last week’s deals are still good.


To make up for the lack of free food, we’ve found you some free music, free kids’ craft workshops, a free poinsettia and even a free bus trip.


Our blogger is hooked on hoofing it. She's saving money, too.

By Donna_Freedman Dec 11, 2009 11:45AM
My name is Donna, and I'm a walkaholic. It's been four hours since my last perambulation.

I've always liked walking to a nearby market or to the library. For the past three years there's been plenty of walking on the university campus. But I used the bus, too, and sometimes I even drove my car on errands. Back then, I was still in control. 

But you can find great deals on magazines, computers, jeans and travel to Mexico.

By Karen Datko Dec 11, 2009 11:32AM

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


Visit your e-mail inbox this time of year, and it’s easy to think you’re being stalked by every retailer in the mall. Depending on how you handle the influx, those e-mails can be your best bargain or your worst budget-buster.


Looking back over the past week, I’ve received roughly 50 e-mails a day in my personal account touting sales and deals, including a few travel and shopping newsletters. Yet I pulled out my credit card for just one: a $300 Calphalon pan set. They’re on sale for $80 through Dec. 13, and I wanted to replace the warped hand-me-downs I’ve been using since college. Minus a $42 leftover gift certificate balance from last Christmas, I got them for $38 -- an 87% discount.


He used to drink up to 8 cans of Diet Coke a day.

By Karen Datko Dec 10, 2009 6:19PM

Any fool knows that you can save money by not drinking soda. But what if you’re a soft drink freak?


During his more-than-decade-long love affair with Diet Coke, Steve at brip blap sometimes drank eight cans a day. Reportedly, the caffeine in Diet Coke and other types of pop can be addictive.  

Steve quit in 2005. He might drink a regular soda from time to time, but diet no longer passes his lips.


How did he quit? Among his tips:


Venues are hoping you'll want to buy tickets as holiday gifts.

By Teresa Mears Dec 10, 2009 4:44PM

You’re probably not thinking about baseball games and theme parks right now.


But TravelZoo has just published news about a huge nationwide sale on Broadway shows, Las Vegas shows, sporting events, theme park passes and more, in the hope that you might want to buy some of these tickets as holiday gifts. I know I’d rather have tickets to a concert or play than a bat-shaped candy dish or yet another scented candle.


The retailer's environmental consciousness has grown, but it still has a way to go.

By Teresa Mears Dec 10, 2009 2:54PM

Wal-Mart is one of those stores people either love or hate.


The store has lately been trying to attract more affluent customers, who in this economy are looking for lower prices along with everyone else. But those customers aren’t willing to abandon their ideals to save a few dollars, says CBS MoneyWatch.


Keeping in mind both price and idealism, MoneyWatch has put together a guide to the things you can feel good about buying at Wal-Mart and also a guide to things you shouldn’t buy at Wal-Mart.


Seriously underwater homeowners are passing up the option to walk away.

By Karen Datko Dec 10, 2009 1:53PM

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


Last week The Consumerist had a post telling readers to “Go ahead, strategically default on your underwater mortgage.” This was based, more or less, on a paper (.pdf file) from a law professor at the University of Arizona which addressed the legitimate conundrum of why strategic defaults are not more common.

A strategic default on a mortgage is when a borrower can make the payments but chooses not to. In other words, the borrower hands the keys over to the lender and walks away. It is important to remember that, despite much play in the media and academia, this is still a rather exotic maneuver. In order for a borrower to even begin considering such a move two things need to be true.


A former salad hater has found ways to incorporate them inexpensively and deliciously into his meal plans.

By Karen Datko Dec 10, 2009 11:23AM

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


Lately, my wife and I have been studying ways to reduce our weekly grocery bill. We’ve been using several tactics to do this, which I will discuss one at a time over a series of articles.


Salads before dinner are a common staple at our house. For a long time, we would buy lots of different dressings and other items to complement the salad. While planning for a grocery trip a few weeks ago, we realized that we were about to spend $15 or so on salad accompaniments (because several of our items were depleted). We decided to try some different tactics to drastically reduce our spending on salad.



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