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Those blank checks in the mail from your card company can be very costly.

By Karen Datko Apr 30, 2010 12:45PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

 

Have you ever received blank checks from a credit card company? We get them all the time. A letter comes in the mail from one of our credit card issuers, and inside are a bunch of perforated “convenience” checks -- and a lot of legal jargon, too.

 

The idea of writing a check without drawing down your checking account can be really enticing. It can also cost you an arm and a leg.

 

So we thought it was time to take a closer look at exactly what convenience checks are, and the pros and cons of using them.

 

Hear your favorite author talk. Maybe there will be snacks. And no, you don't HAVE to buy a book.

By Donna_Freedman Apr 30, 2010 11:52AM
Earlier this week I attended a book signing by New York Times food writer Kim Severson. Her new book, "Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life," is getting plenty of positive press.

Severson confessed to a case of the hometown jitters: She used to work at the Tacoma News Tribune and some of her old softball buddies were in the audience. But even the people who'd never been on her team were charmed by the author's wit and candor, and by her reading of two parts of the book.

The free wine and chocolate handed out ahead of time didn't hurt a bit, either.  

Free museum admission and coupons for burgers and bagels are among this week's Friday deals and freebies.

By Teresa Mears Apr 30, 2010 10:58AM

It’s another fine Friday, and that means it’s time for Friday food deals and freebies.

 

But we’re going to start with the inedible deals today.

 

Saturday, May 1, is Free Comic Book Day. That means that participating comic book stores nationwide are giving comic books free to anyone who shows up. Some stores are turning the event into a party, with costumed superheroes. As part of the event, e-book publisher Wowio is giving away free downloadable comics.

This is the first weekend of the month, and Bank of America customers can visit museums free with the Museums On Us program. A Bank of America credit or debit card will get you free admission Saturday or Sunday to more than 120 museums and attractions across the United States.

 

The Cash for Appliances program is the latest way to save on new, energy-efficient appliances. But it's certainly not the only way.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 30, 2010 7:57AM

This post comes from partner site Money Talks News.

 

Much like last year’s “Cash for Clunkers” car program that helped hundreds of thousands into new, more-fuel-efficient rides, the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, also known as "Cash for Appliance Clunkers," is on target to help Americans save money on energy-efficient appliances.

 

New guide explains when to get the best price on a wide variety of consumer products.

By Karen Datko Apr 29, 2010 3:23PM

Nearly everyone knows that the end of the model year is the best time to buy a new car. But did you know that dealerships are more likely to give you a break toward the end of each month? Many, the Go Frugal Blog at FreeShipping.org, have monthly quotas.

OK, maybe all you car nuts knew that too. But we’d almost guarantee you’ll learn something from FreeShipping’s new “Best Time to Buy Guide.” It covers 75 products, including 30 new additions to the list.

 

Among those that caught our eye:

 

Spending on pets rises during the recession, and luxury hotels are ready to pamper your furry family members.

By Teresa Mears Apr 29, 2010 1:45PM

When it comes to resorts, my cats turn up their noses. They are, after all, cats. Among the last things they want to see on vacation are … DOGS. No pet resorts for us. I don’t think the cats’ disdain for resort travel has anything to do with respect for the family budget, but I appreciate it anyway.

 

We recently received a news release from a Florida hotel touting its Mother’s Day “Ugly Mug” special for families, including children of any shape, size or number of legs. That made us curious about hotel perks for the pet set.

 

How to find the best deals, eat like the locals, and create a Port-o-Kitchen.

By Karen Datko Apr 29, 2010 1:12PM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.

 

As the summer approaches, several bajillion Americans (self included) are itching to get out of work, to soak up the rays of another warm season.

Also, they’re hungry.

Transportation and housing aside, food is a major budget concern when planning a vacation. Since most travelers are just trying to find a decent, affordable meal, nutritional considerations nearly always fall by the wayside.

What follows, then, is a plan: the ultimate guide to saving dough on food while you’re away, with extra emphasis on healthy options.

 

10 tips from his parents, who came to the U.S. from Calabria, Italy, 35 years ago.

By Karen Datko Apr 29, 2010 10:34AM

This guest post comes from Vincent Scordo at Scordo.com.

 

Both of my parents were born in Southern Italy, where unemployment is high and quality of life is superb. My mother made it to the seventh grade, and my father received the equivalent of a technical high school diploma. Both of my parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1975 and are currently debt-free, own their own two-family home, and have plenty of money in savings.

 

They are, in many ways, leading the American dream -- by not adopting the principles of American consumerism.

 

The lessons below may be described as "old school" and overly simplistic, but the hard truth is that each tip works. And, moreover, they are used frequently by recent immigrants to the United States (and are often forgotten by the second or third generation):

 

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