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Volunteers get a sweet treat for doing good, plus food coupons, free pens and free decor workshops.

By Teresa Mears Aug 20, 2010 12:22PM

The best deal we found this week isn't for food, but for products you put on your hair.


Fekkai and Saks Fifth Avenue are giving away full-size bottles of Fekkai hair-styling products on Thursday, Aug. 26, at Saks. The products normally sell for $23. To get one free, you must print out this form and bring it with you.


If you're sweet enough to do good, Target and Ben & Jerry's will give you a sweet reward: a coupon for a free pint of Berry Voluntary or Brownie Chew Gooder ice cream, good at Target. You can find volunteer opportunities for the "Scoop it Forward" program here. You can also pass on coupons to your friends. This deal will continue through Dec. 31.


Worldwide gas prices range from a high of nearly $10 a gallon all the way down to 6 cents. Here's a look at those prices, as well as how to find the best prices where you live.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 20, 2010 12:10PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.


Gassing up isn't cheap. According to AAA, we're now paying a nationwide average of $2.73 for a gallon of regular. That's about 25 cents a gallon more than last year. But it's certainly better than the year before, when prices shot up to more than $4 a gallon.

But if the cost of gas bothers you, be happy you don't live in Asmara, Eritrea. (Never heard of it? Click here to see it on Bing Maps.) This African nation boasts the highest gas prices in the world -- nearly $10 a gallon. On the other hand, you could be living in Venezuela, where prices are as low as 6 cents.


Just because a restaurant serves a staggering amount of grub doesn't mean you have to eat it.

By Donna_Freedman Aug 20, 2010 10:50AM
Personal-finance blogger "vh" from Funny about Money has started a new site, The Half-Off Diet. She isn't looking to lose 50% of her body weight; the title refers to her suggestion that we should eat half as much as we usually do.

That's why vh ordered the $7 calamari-and-salad dish when lunching with her son. At that price, she figured it would be "an hors d'oeuvre."

Then her meal arrived.  

There are ways to cut through the compulsory trailers and ads and go right to the movie.

By Karen Datko Aug 20, 2010 10:07AM

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


One recent weekend not too long ago I came home to find out that both my kids happened to be spending the night at neighbors' homes. Heh.


Of course, I'm sure all of you who are married with children know what that means.


But before that could actually happen I had to grease the skids. Er, so to speak.


Both the "Honeybee" and I are homebodies, so we decided to cook up some steaks at home and rent a movie.


I sauteed us some fresh mushrooms and then cooked us up a couple of nice rib eyes (cooked rare, and lightly marinated beforehand in Italian dressing). Our steaks were accompanied by baked potatoes loaded with butter, sour cream, chives and bacon bits.

Oh yeah, it was delicious.


Before I knew it the kitchen was cleaned up and it was movie time.


I popped us up some fresh hot popcorn and cracked open a frosty cold one. Meanwhile, the Honeybee made herself a tall Jack and Diet Coke and grabbed a big bag of peanut M&Ms she thinks she keeps hidden from me in the cupboard (in the far corner, behind the bag of Lay's Salt & Vinegar potato chips). Never mind that I prefer the plain ones.


At 8:30 p.m. we settled down to watch "Clash of the Titans" starring Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and a bunch of other actors I never heard of.


Buying those seasoning packets is really costly. The secret is MYOM -- make your own mix.

By Karen Datko Aug 19, 2010 6:45PM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.


The more I learn about saving cash on food, the madder I get with myself when I knowingly waste money. While this holds true for every aspect of grocery shopping, it's double the fury when it comes to McCormick-style seasoning packets. Why?


Well, almost any prepackaged spice mix, rub, or powder can be made at home for a fraction of the price. Oftentimes, it'll taste better, too.

Case in point: I'd been running out of chili powder for almost a month. It occurred to me several times to buy some, but always in places like the Q Train or the bathroom at Barnes & Noble.


More people are refinancing into short-term loans. Is this right for you?

By Karen Datko Aug 19, 2010 5:04PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


Mortgage rates fell again this week, says Freddie Mac, the government-run mortgage agency that surveys the market each week.

The average price of a 30-year mortgage dropped to 4.42%, from 4.44%. Buyers are paying an average of 0.7 point for that rate. This time last year, the mortgage rate was 5.12%, which seemed pretty low back then.


Amazingly, you can get a 15-year fixed-rate loan for under 4% -- 3.90% this week, which is down from last week's rate of 3.92%.


Health officials fear salmonella outbreak could sicken thousands.

By Karen Datko Aug 19, 2010 4:04PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site


Wright County Egg, one of the nation's largest egg producers, has increased its recall of eggs to 380 million, or 32 million cartons. That's a 66% increase since Wednesday.


Meanwhile, health officials are worried that the tainted eggs could spark the worst outbreak of salmonella in two decades, eclipsing the 2007 outbreak linked to peanut butter.


The growing popularity of group buying has drawn a shady element.

By Karen Datko Aug 19, 2010 12:54PM

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


A rise in the number of group-buying sites offering daily deals is making it harder for bargain hunters to spot group sales that are worthwhile.

Group-buying sites offer limited-time purchase windows on discounted goods or services but follow through on the deal only if enough people sign up. Their ranks have multiplied over the last few months, as startups jostle for a piece of the profitable market.



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