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Slumping hotels are offering guests freebies and discounted rooms.

By Karen Datko Feb 4, 2010 10:53AM

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


Romantics on a budget can get some love this year from the lodging industry -- if you don’t mind a little rain or long plane rides.


Travel has yet to pick up from its 2009 slump, and properties are trying to convince consumers to book a quick Valentine’s Day getaway. While holding the line on room prices, some hotels are offering free extras such as sparkling wine, spa credits and candlelit dinners. Others are reducing room rates by as much as half.


The average salary cost per pound of the Saints' starting defensive line and other fun facts.

By Karen Datko Feb 3, 2010 8:22PM

How much has the price of Super Bowl tickets appreciated since that very first one (Packers vs. Chiefs) back in 1967? If you guessed 22,225%, you’re right. In case you’re curious, that's a compound annualized growth rate of 13.4%.

Yes, we’ve been sucked into the hype that surrounds the big game (even though our beloved six-time world champion Steelers are sitting this one out). A fun article at CBS MoneyWatch helped pull us back in. “Super Bowl XLI: Adding up the numbers” examines all sorts of interesting stats.

Here we’ll focus on the personal-finance numbers from that post:


New Coke Mini can cost a lot more than a regular-size can. Still, maybe having the option of a smaller size is progress.

By Teresa Mears Feb 3, 2010 4:34PM

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is outraged. The new 7.5-ounce Coke Mini is selling for 50% to 140% more per ounce than the regular 12-ounce cans.


Coke to Fleece America by Charging More for Less,” trumpets the CSPI, with a subhead reading “$8.50 a gallon for small cans of water & high fructose corn syrup?”


Umm, is $4.50 a gallon for larger cans of water and high-fructose corn syrup somehow a good deal?


Bundle shows how shoppers across the country are spending -- and saving -- on food.

By Janet Paskin Feb 3, 2010 3:39PM

Receipt face, n. A specific variant of sticker shock seen at the grocery store checkout, characterized by befuddlement, disappointment, resignation. Often provoked by a larger-than-anticipated total.

At one point or another, everyone gets blindsided by a hair-raising grocery bill. According to MSN partner site Bundle, the average American household spends about $320 a month on food to eat at home, but that's just the beginning.


Scammers claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau are ripping people off.

By Karen Datko Feb 3, 2010 1:52PM

This post comes from James Limbach at partner site


If you can't trust the Better Business Bureau, whom can you trust?


The organization is warning about a new scam that is using its good name in order to steal tens of thousands of dollars from victims who are led to believe they have won a lottery.


So far, scammers posing as BBB employees have fleeced one victim of $80,000, and several other people have reported that they were contacted over the phone or via e-mail by someone claiming they were with the organization.


Cheap seats clock in at $1,500. Read these tips before you buy.

By Karen Datko Feb 3, 2010 11:43AM

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


When does a $1,500 ticket qualify as a bargain?


When it gets you a seat -- any seat -- at Sunday’s New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl game in Miami.


There is good and bad news here.


Some rules of house-sitting etiquette and tips for finding locations and clients.

By Karen Datko Feb 3, 2010 10:46AM

This post comes from Margaret Garcia-Couoh at partner blog Wise Bread.


I just got back from spending two weeks in one of America’s most expensive cities, staying in one of that city’s toniest neighborhoods, for free. You can do it too, you know.


It’s true. I spent two weeks in San Francisco and stayed on the north side of town (Russian Hill) and I didn’t spend a dime on accommodations. What did I do?


Earning opportunities are available if you're willing to be a guinea pig.

By Karen Datko Feb 2, 2010 8:18PM

We weren’t eligible for the free vacation offered in exchange for trying out a new traveler’s diarrhea drug. (Darn.) But the opportunities to make money from clinical trials keep on coming.


Newest on our radar screen is research involving two forms of a smallpox vaccine, organized by St. Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development and available at five locations across the U.S. It pays $75 for each of seven monthly visits. That’s $525.


Smallpox? Isn’t that a deadly disease that was wiped from the face of the Earth years ago -- in 1980, to be exact? As far as anyone knows, whatever is left is stored in heavily secured (we hope) locations.


We found answers via a post at Riverfront Times, a St. Louis blog.



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