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You may be able to find cheaper alternatives.

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2009 4:38PM

Drug companies will likely face some kind of cost containment whenever health care reform becomes law, so it’s no surprise that they’re raising prices. By some accounts it’s the largest increase in 17 years.

The New York Times reports:

In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9%, according to industry analysts. … The drug trend is distinctly at odds with the direction of the Consumer Price Index, which has fallen by 1.3% in the last year.

What does this mean to you? The NYT says:


Fees and expiration dates would have to be disclosed clearly.

By  Nov 16, 2009 1:44PM

By Elizabeth Strott


With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, the Federal Reserve this morning announced proposed rules that would restrict fees and expiration dates on gift cards.

The rules would protect consumers from hidden fees and costs and would require that gift-card terms and conditions be stated clearly.


"Gift cards are easy to give, but they are also easy to forget. If the card has a monthly fee or expiration date, these can become costly little pieces of plastic," Bill Hardekopf, CEO of and co-author of "The Credit Card Guidebook," told


Bank teller offers an insider's look at how young people manage their money.

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2009 11:42AM

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


I’m old school: I went to the bank to make a deposit the other day. (I make most of my deposits in person, inside the branch.) While I waited, I chatted with the teller, whom I know from many previous visits. “I’m writing a book about money,” I told him. “What’s the one thing you wish you could tell people about banking?”


Save!” he said. He told me there’s a huge generation gap between savers and spenders. “The people who save are generally older. They don’t look like they have money, but they do. They’ve got a ton in their savings account and they chase the best CD rates. But the reason they have money is because they didn’t spend it when they were younger. They’ve been able to let it grow.”

“And that’s not what kids today are doing?” I asked.


“No way,” he said. “The young people I see spend all their money. They’re trying to impress their friends. They buy all this new stuff. Their bank balances are always low. They’re not going to have money saved like the older generation does.”


Then he gave me another great example.


Some of the best deals may also be online in one-hour sale.

By Teresa Mears Nov 16, 2009 12:27AM

This year some parents will be finishing up their Black Friday shopping, just as their children get up.


Toys R Us, in a bid to steal business away from discounters Wal-Mart and Target, is offering its door buster specials at midnight on Friday morning after Thanksgiving.


Available only until 1 a.m., most of these deals, like the big $300 Furreal Friends S’mores pony for $99, a Nintendo DSi bundle for $159.99 ($10 off list price with sleeve and car charger, and the $199 Apple iPod 8GB Touch for $199 with $50 Toys R Us gift card, appear to be available online as well.


Shining your shoes with a banana peel is just one of the low-cost tricks you can learn.

By MSN Money producer Nov 13, 2009 9:40PM
This blog has waxed poetically about the many uses of vinegar, baking soda, salt and even vodka. But this might be a new one: Using a banana to polish your shoes.

This video at Lifehacker shows how you can make your shoes shine with a peel. Apparently, the potassium contained in this "yellow crescent of unparalleled beauty" is the main ingredient in shoe polish. The steps are easy: 

Find out where smart gamers go to find bargains.

By MSN Money producer Nov 13, 2009 6:46PM

© Ryan MacClanathan/MSN MoneyVideo gaming can be an expensive hobby.


The $200-plus you've just spent on that new game console is just a start. Throw in some extra controllers, cables and a stack of A-list titles and you're talking about a big chunk of change. 


So how can a video gamer on a budget save money? That's where David Abrams steps in. Known as CheapyD in the gaming community, Abrams is the founder of Cheap Ass Gamer, the de facto Web site for video game bargains.


Abrams and his legion of frugal gamers have turned the six-year-old site into a thriving community of budget-conscious shoppers. To put it simply: If it's a good deal, it'll be listed on his site.


With the help of Abrams, we've compiled a list of smart ways you can save on video games. (If you're a nongamer, and you have gamers on your Christmas shopping list, skip to the bottom of this post). Here are six ways to save:


Doorbusters include extra games bundled with Xbox, PS3

By TracyC Nov 13, 2009 4:54PM

Holiday bargain shoppers are crying “Bah Humbug!” after seeing the leaked Black Friday ad from electronics giant Best Buy.


Many of its so-called hot deals on laptops, GPS devices and TVs have already been bested by pre-Turkey Day sales from Target, Sears, Wal-Mart and others, says Michael Brim, founder of, which posted the ad.


However, there are some gaming doorbusters to be had.


When do you cross the line from being frugal to being a thief?

By MSN Money producer Nov 13, 2009 2:25PM

This guest post comes from Kevin at The Red Stapler Chronicles.

Do you consider yourself to be an honest person that would never steal? I am sure that most of us would like to believe that this is indeed the case.

We look at those who steal as evil criminals that need to be punished. However, although we all know that stealing a car is wrong, we tend to justify taking smaller items and do not consider it to be stealing. In fact, sometimes avoiding paying for small things is actually celebrated as being frugal. Indeed, during these tough economic times, the line between being extremely frugal and stealing is slowly being erased.

Below, I have identified six common scenarios in which normal, everyday, taxpaying citizens often resort to a debatable form of stealing. 



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