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To avoid price increases, companies stealthily reduce sizes.

By Karen Datko Oct 5, 2009 1:43AM

"LivingAlmostLarge" at the blog with the same name read an article about how manufacturers of food and sundry items are shrinking the size of their products and charging the same price. She found the proof in her own cupboards.

She wrote that "curiosity got the better of me and I started to pull through my cabinets.  And Bounty did decrease the roll size. I can say that because I have some from last summer." Bounty isn't the only product that's smaller now.


Many don't like being told they live unhealthy lives.

By Karen Datko Oct 5, 2009 1:32AM

Freemoneyfinance has compiled more than 700 money-saving tips over the years. Based on feedback from readers, FMF, in typical snarky fashion, has compiled the 10 most-hated suggestions. We'll share some of the highlights here.

No. 10 on the list: "Be healthy." "Let's face it, people don't like being told they are fat and lazy," FMF writes. "I think that's at the core of the disdain for a healthy lifestyle." Quitting smoking is No. 8.


Do you really know as much as you think you do?

By Karen Datko Oct 2, 2009 6:22PM

Do you think you’re the reigning coupon queen in your neck of the woods? Do you need proof or confirmation?


Blogger Paula Wethington at the always excellent Monroe on a Budget (that’s Monroe, Mich.) has written a quiz to test your skills. We took it, and it’s a good one.


Try this question out:

3. The store is having super double-coupon sale up to $2 value. You have a 75 cents-off coupon for a product that has a retail price of $1.25. How much will you pay for that product?
A. You will get a refund of 25 cents.
B. The product will be free.

Here’s the answer (this post is all the better because Paula provides an explanation with each one).


Picking the wrong pet can be quite costly.

By Karen Datko Oct 2, 2009 3:43PM

This guest post comes from "vh" at Funny about Money.


M’hijito called the other evening to report that a friend of a friend wants to find a new home for a 2-year-old golden retriever. M’hijito himself has craved to get a dog for a long time, and in particular he pines for a golden, the breed of his beloved childhood companion.


The story is that the pup’s family consists of a pair of divorcing doctors. The dog belongs to their 15-year-old daughter. Mom and Dad, in their unholy wisdom, have decided that in addition to depriving their child of a stable pair of parents (chances are she hasn’t had one of those in a long time), they’re also going to deprive her of her pet, neither parent wishing to take care of it in singlehood.


To be fair, there’s a second pet dog, possibly one that’s more manageable in an apartment (read “doesn’t eat the furniture”). But there it is: The element of cruelty gives M’hijito pause. It has a whiff of coldness about it that makes one wonder what exactly is being offered and why.


Because my familiars have always been dogs (preferably large ones) rather than the tediously conventional black cats, he wanted to know what questions I would ask about this animal and its background, by way of guessing what he was getting into. So, I came up with a few things a person might want to know.


If you’re interested in adopting an adult dog, especially one that comes from a private home (as opposed to a shelter), you might consider a few of these, too:


8 DIY methods to approaching your debt.

By Karen Datko Oct 2, 2009 12:46PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.


Debt-consolidation and debt-negotiation programs are often associated with seedy companies more interested in helping themselves than helping consumers.


The debt-consolidation industry is largely responsible for earning this reputation. The Federal Trade Commission, for example, warns consumers about the false promises many in the debt business make to consumers. And the FTC has even brought legal action against “nonprofit” debt-negotiation companies for violating federal consumer protection laws. The FTC has published an excellent article called "Knee deep in debt" that talks in part about debt-consolidation companies and is definitely worth reading.


But the concept behind debt consolidation is still a good one for many people overwhelmed by debt. By consolidating debt, many can lower the interest rate on their debt and lower their monthly payments. This in turn can make paying your debt and providing for your other expenses more manageable.


But this still leaves one big question -- how? How should one go about consolidating debt?


Video: Consumer Reports warns to check your homes for these recalled items

By MSN Money Oct 2, 2009 11:31AM
Watch Don Mays from Consumer Reports share some important information about products that have been recalled in the past year. 

One blogger felt guilty about finding a fiver. Would you?

By Donna_Freedman Oct 2, 2009 11:17AM

Julia Scott, aka the "Bargain Babe," was shopping at the Hollywood Farmers Market when she saw a crumpled five-dollar bill. Having spent most of the $20 she'd budgeted for fresh produce, Scott was delighted -- and torn.

"I'm not the rightful owner," she thought.

Scott wandered the market for a while longer, then swung back by the stall where she'd seen the money. Amazingly, it was still there. Since no one had picked it up, and since there was no way to find the true owner, "it might as well be mine, I reasoned."


A little ignorance can be costly.

By Karen Datko Oct 2, 2009 12:21AM

No matter how much personal-finance bloggers write about credit cards, myths about them persist. Kristin at Twenties Money Magazine sets the record straight with "TMM top 20 dumb credit card rumors."

Here's No. 18, which we think gets a lot of traction, even though it's absolutely untrue: " Cash advance is the same as using an ATM." In fact, credit card cash advances come with a hefty price tag.



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