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Consumer

Black Friday and CVS Savings

by Sasha

My “Black Friday” shopping started yesterday at 8 a.m. after I’d readied my 26-pound turkey (we had 22 people planned for Thanksgiving this year) for its 6-plus hours in the oven. Instead of crawling back to bed whilst the scent of roasting turkey filled the house, I had a mission in mind. Earlier in the ... Continue reading this article…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

by Luke Landes

When it comes to holidays usurped by consumerism and with a backstory that begins to border on mythology rather than history, Thanksgiving is one towards the top of the list. These days, I try to take what I can from holidays without getting involved in any controversy. For me, Thanksgiving gives me a chance to ... Continue reading this article…

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After Black Friday, Retailers Face a Less-Than-Joyous Holiday Season

by Sasha

Each year without fail, a relative of mine loads up on Best Buy stock just before the holidays. “It’s a sure thing,” he boasts, “because the stock always climbs from the Christmas revenue.” But even with all the earlier-than-ever Black Friday sales and hubbub this year, including the aforementioned Best Buy issuing tickets for its ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Turn $500 Into $7 The Hard Way

by J.D. Roth

This is a guest post from J.D. Roth, who writes about personal finance and related topics at Get Rich Slowly. Back in our young and foolish days, my wife and I bought a set of encyclopedias from a door-to-door salesman. This was in 1995, at the very cusp of the digital age. We had been ... Continue reading this article…

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Consumption Is Investment

by Luke Landes

This is a guest post from Mrs. Micah, who maintains the blog Mrs. Micah: Finance and Life, in which the author is starting to deal responsibly with her $100,000+ debt. Every purchase you make is an investment. Too often we think of our purchases as consumables. Some are, like food, but even those should be ... Continue reading this article…

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A Car’s Resale Value: Does it Matter?

by Luke Landes

When I purchased my Honda Civic a few years ago, I chose this particular car because it was economical and reliable. I knew that Civics hold their value well, but I wasn’t planning on selling the car for many years. Kelley Blue Book recently announced their awards for best resale value. If you need a ... Continue reading this article…

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Gift Cards: Customers Lost $8 Billion Last Year

by Luke Landes

Here’s another reason not to give gift cards or certificates as presents this holiday season (or any other time). According to estimates by TowerGroup, $8 billion was lost by consumers last year who let their gift cards go unused — expired, lost, or ignored. Consumer Reports also says that their latest survey shows that 27 percent ... Continue reading this article…

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Make the Most Out of Best Buy

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has tips for getting the most out of a Best Buy shopping trip, which reminded me to share my story of yesterday’s experience. In my circle of friends, the big box retail store known for its bright blue and yellow logo is known as “Worst Buy” thanks to the multitude of headaches their ... Continue reading this article…

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New Jersey Prescription Drug Price Registry

by Luke Landes

Over 100 of the most common prescription drugs are listed in the New Jersey Prescription Drug Price Registry, maintained by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. This website lets you search by medication name, type, and form to find the prices for these drugs by zip code. For example, if you search for 100 ... Continue reading this article…

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Opportunity to Buy A Dream Car For a Great Price

by Luke Landes

I get great satisfaction from reading personal finance stories from personal finance columnists. One columnist I usually like is Terri Cullen, who writes the Fiscally Fit column at the Wall Street Journal. Recently, her husband was offered a chance to buy his dream car, a like-new Chevrolet Corvette, for a too-good-to-be-true-but-is price. Gerry and I ... Continue reading this article…

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Phone Numbers Won’t Drop From Do Not Call List… Yet

by Luke Landes

Earlier this month, I mentioned that the Do Not Call list was about to expire, but today the Federal Trade Commission has decided to keep expiring phone numbers on the list. While the original intent was to expire phone numbers after five years to ensure accuracy, the FTP says they’ve managed to scrub the list ... Continue reading this article…

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Black Friday and Your Spending Habits

by Luke Landes

I truly despise the terms “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” and how the retail industry has created these days in an effort to rationalize outrageous spending on these particular days as if it should be accepted as an integral part of the holiday season. Cyber Monday did not exist until retailers created it, and as ... Continue reading this article…

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Do Not Call List About to Expire

by Luke Landes

There’s little doubt that the federal Do Not Call list is a good thing for most people throughout the United States. All you have to do is sign up with your phone number and a valid e-mail address, and you will be protected from most dinnertime annoyances (besides your children)… … for five years. For ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Ticket Scalping Fair?

by Luke Landes

Parents are complaining about the high price of tickets for Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concerts thanks to scalpers. Like any popular event, whether a concert or sporting event, ticket brokers buy tickets early on — somehow — and resell them with a huge mark-up. Is it fair? I don’t think so, but not for the typical ... Continue reading this article…

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Sports Team Disappointment: A Customer Service Issue?

by Luke Landes

It never struck my mind when the Mets blew their chances of October baseball this past weekend, during their downward spiral in the last several weeks, or even following the game I attended during which the team lost, that I should call the ownership and complain about the service provided to me as a paying ... Continue reading this article…

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The Great Pumpkin and Pumpkin Economy

by Sasha

Yesterday, at the local CSA farm I belong to, I couldn’t help but smile at the young boy who dragged his mother eagerly round and round the bins of big orange pumpkins which were part of our share for the week. “Are you the Great Pumpkin? Are you?” he’d announce, addressing the giant orange orbs ... Continue reading this article…

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More $4 Generic Drugs at Wal-Mart

by Luke Landes

About a year ago, Wal-Mart announced the store would be offering generic prescription drugs at prices a fraction of what you can get in other pharmacies, and that caught my attention.

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How Many Earths Would it Take to Sustain You?

by Luke Landes

If everyone on Earth lived like me, it would take more than 7 Earths to support our world’s lifestyle. A new game from NPR gives you an idea of how difficult it would be to support a world where everyone lives like you.

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An Education in High Definition for the Novice

by Luke Landes

Best Buy is campaigning for better consumer education in High Definition to prevent store returns. Customers apparently purchase flat screen televisions and expect the complete high definition experience immediately upon hooking up their system with the same old equipment and cables. Despite the lack of knowledge, I don’t think an entire “education program” is necessary. ... Continue reading this article…

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When to Sell Your Car

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, I mentioned you can save $31,000 over 10 years by keeping your car rather than selling it with your eyes on the “new hotness.” But there are certain times you just shouldn’t hang on to “old and busted.” Consumer Reports has some suggestions for when you should say goodbye. It needs repairs costing more ... Continue reading this article…

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