Target is a great source for the Kindle and green household cleaners, among other things, but better deals for some products can be found elsewhere.
Target has its loyal fans and deservedly so, with competitive prices, quality goods and decent apparel. Plus, it's an acceptable discount alternative for those who love to hate Wal-Mart. (For those who dwell on such things: Despite the "Tar-zhay" nickname, Target is not a French company. Can that silly urban myth finally be put to rest?)
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Still, just like any major chain, Target is a great place to buy certain things, but for others, not so much. CBS MoneyWatch recently compiled lists of both. Those posts made us wonder: What are the good and bad buys at other stores? (For more on that, see below.) Here's what CBS MoneyWatch found:
Consumer Reports found the average savings with store brands was 30%, but shoppers saved as much as 52% on some items.
When it comes to taste, store-brand products can compete with their name-brand counterparts and save shoppers more than $1,000 a year on grocery bills, according to a new Consumer Reports study.
In 21 head-to-head taste matchups, national brands won seven times, the store brand came out on top in three instances, and the remainder resulted in ties.
There are ways around high ticket prices, as nearly every pro team offers some sort of discount or fan incentive to maximize the experience.
It took only eight months, but the NFL season is here, and Chad Ochocinco's reality TV show is finally giving way to real, interesting sports news. Now is also time to think about the most cringe-inducing part of football season (aside from Ochocinco): astonishingly overpriced tickets, food and parking.
In a monumental example of upselling, 18 of 32 teams in the league raised single-game ticket prices this year, some as much as 7%. Season tickets are also out of the question for many families, considered a luxury on par with Learjets and caviar.
Yet an NFL game is something to experience live at least once, and price gouging shouldn't keep you from the tailgate or game. There are several ways around these fares, as nearly every pro team offers some sort of discount or fan incentive to maximize your experience, even outside the stadium.
The federal government is proposing stricter rules for financial aid at for-profit colleges.
The economy has brought new emphasis to a debate that has long plagued education circles: Are students paying too much for college educations that don't lead to good jobs?
A recent Department of Education report looked at student loan repayment rates for each institution, including for-profit colleges that often emphasize career opportunities in their advertising.
The report found that students of many for-profit colleges were the least likely to pay their student loans.
When the emotional and rational parts of the brain square off, guess which one is liable to win?
Back in the '60s, it was apparently OK to torture little kids. Just kidding, but one study came close.
Here's the gist. Stanford economists took 4-year-olds one at a time and put them in a room with a single marshmallow sitting on a table. The experimenter told them that he had to leave for a short errand, but if they waited without eating the marshmallow, they would get an extra one upon his return.
Seventy percent of the kids caved, on average lasting three minutes before eating it. The rest of the kids were visibly frustrated as they tried to wait. Some turned away from the table so they wouldn't see the marshmallow. Some covered their eyes.
Decades later, the researchers asked the kids (now adults) for their SAT scores. The patient kids scored better.
Since then, the study has been replicated a number of ways. But just a few years ago, scientists took it to a new level.
More outlets are going online. What savvy shoppers need to know.
Finding deals at outlets used to require serious effort: a lengthy drive to the nearest outlet mall, followed by hours spent combing through racks, item by item, and waiting in long lines behind like-minded bargain hunters. Now, it often takes just a few clicks from home.
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Camera manufacturer Nikon launched an online outlet store last week, and J. Crew plans to make its outlet store clothing available online this month. The two join a host of retailers with an online outlet presence, including J.C. Penney, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Zales, Sears and The Disney Store.
Because a frugal person focuses on the maximization of value, sometimes it's easy to fall into the trap of keeping too much stuff.
The other night, I watched a couple episodes of the A&E documentary series "Hoarders." For those of you who haven't seen it, "Hoarders" focuses on the struggles of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding.
One thing that struck me over and over again was that people were saying things along the lines of "I can't get rid of this stuff because I might have a use for it someday." Of course, they were making this statement in a home that was so full of stuff that they had difficulty even walking through their home.
Frugal people live on an interesting spectrum between minimalism and excessive accumulation of stuff.
New study shows that more than a third of the unemployed who've found new jobs are working for less pay.
Just how hard has the recession been on American workers? A new Pew Research Center report offers some stark numbers:
- 26% of the 139 million working Americans were jobless at least once since the recession officially began in December 2007. (These folks are referred to as the "re-employed.") The report adds:
And for some workers, finding a new job was a short-lived victory over hard times. According to the survey, more than a third have suffered two or more spells of unemployment during the recession, including 16% who have been out of work three or more times.
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