Frugality shouldn't be trendy.
Hip? Suddenly I'm hip? For years people debated my sanity, sometimes openly, because I shopped thrift stores, used coupons, made soup stock from chicken bones. Turns out I was just a bit early to a party that others have finally deemed cool enough to attend.
At various times in recent history it has also been hip to wear shoulder pads, cook with oat bran and turn rocks into pets. I don't want frugality to be hip. I want it to last.
Maybe it's not your employer's fault
Chalk up another casualty of the recession: workers' health.
A new study released this week found that, despite all the concern over health care costs, the health of people with jobs is declining.
"Workers are putting in longer hours, afraid of losing their jobs. With less time to exercise, more than a third of employees report that work drains them of energy, leaving nothing for their personal lives,'' writes Cindy Krischer Goodman, who does the Work/Life Balancing Act column and blog for The Miami Herald.
Are fewer promos a sign of better times ahead?
We couldn't find many new food and restaurant deals this week. Could this be a sign that the recession is easing, or is it just a lull?
Remember, not all local franchises participate in all national promotions, so be sure to ask at your local store.
Here are this week's deals, courtesy of our friends at Cities on the Cheap:
Changes made to thwart counterfeiters.
This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.
Check out the latest super-anti-counterfeit bill to hit the streets: It's none other than the fiver, and it debuted last week with much fanfare over its added security features and that humongous purple "5" on the back.
Great deals can be found, but should you be concerned about possible health risks?
If you track the blogosphere, it seems that the popularity of the humble dollar store is soaring, and that these stores aren't as humble as they used to be.
Imagine this: The extremely picky "Mrs. Badger" at Lipstick is my Crack has even switched from body wash to bar soap because she found soaps she loves at the dollar store.
"Yeah! It's not all Irish Spring and Lifebuoy up in there anymore, y'all! And it's not all no-name generic soaps made out of battery acid and bacon grease (I just made that up; don't e-mail me) anymore, either," she writes.
It's easy to make a few bucks if you get creative.
I've written a lot lately about getting rid of debts and reducing expenses. I thought it was time I address the flip side of your finances: making more money. Thanks to suggestions by my Twitter followers, readers and other bloggers, I've been able to put together a solid list of 52 ways to make extra money. Most, if not all, can be done even with a full-time job.
I obviously haven't tried all of these methods, but when possible I've tried to link to an example of the opportunity actually making money. You should be able to find something here that fits you and your skills.
Man kept his spare change, but didn't invest it.
We can hear the gears grinding in the minds of personal-finance bloggers everywhere as they process the following information: Paul Brant, 70, of Frankfort, Ind., used about $25,000 in spare quarters and dollar coins he had accumulated over 13 years to help pay for a $26,670 2008 Dodge Ram half-ton pickup.
Sheriff's deputies provided security as Brant drove the rolls of coins to the dealership. Brant, who works for Chrysler, decided to give his collection of spare pennies, nickels and dimes to his wife, Judy.
They're making a big comeback
Americans are crazy for coupons again -- clipping at rates not seen in years, and the attraction is not just the 30 cents off the canned corn, The New York Times reports. It's a psychological boost, a feeling that we're proactive and therefore better than those who pay full price.
As the Times puts it, "Because it takes more work to acquire them, the people who do so feel they have outsmarted other shoppers." It's kind of like that "delicious feeling of self-denial" inherent in frugality that our pal Frank Curmudgeon likes to write about at Bad Money Advice. We're saving money and feeling good in a way that's kind of creepy.
Our collective renewed love of the coupon is also good timing. Food prices have fallen by 2.5% since an ugly high point last November, with the biggest single decline between July and August.
Here are some interesting coupon factoids from the Times and other locations:
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