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Consumer

I Buy Generic Brands and Store Brands Sometimes

by Luke Landes

When I was in college, some of my poorer friends (that is, unsubsidized by the government or their parents) would get their products as cheaply as possible. I have distinct memories of afternoons with certain friends and the beverage of choice for lunch being “No Frills Cola.” These days, I don’t go so far, but ... Continue reading this article…

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I Got a Nintendo Wii

by Luke Landes

On Sunday, I purchased a Nintendo Wii. It wasn’t for me. My girlfriend, celebrating her thirtieth birthday, wanted the game system as a gift. Not knowing much about the current state of demand and supply for the game consoles and assuming any frenzy ended with the past holiday season, we went shopping on Saturday. Our ... Continue reading this article…

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Redesigned 401(k) Statement Includes List of Fees

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I received a redesigned quarterly statement for my 401(k) account. It contains the usual sections, including a summary, transaction detail, a pie graph of my asset allocation. It clearly stated my account performance, not including deposits as performance, for the first quarter: 3.41 percent. The statement also includes for the first time ... Continue reading this article…

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A “Thank You” to Microsoft?

by Luke Landes

Thanks to a vicious nor’easter, I was flooded in today and found myself working from home for the first time since taking this new position about a year ago. Our remote desktop access technology requires that Internet Explorer be the employee’s default internet browser on their home computer. Obviously, this was not going to fly ... Continue reading this article…

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11 Best Deals for Spring Shopping

by Luke Landes

Spring is obviously not the best time to shop for shorts, swimwear, and sandals. Retailers know that they can sell these items for much more than they could other times of the year. Other items can be found at great prices, according to Smart Money Magazine. These products aren’t for everyone, and some seem to ... Continue reading this article…

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Three Books for Perfect Negotiation Skills

by Luke Landes

If you’re looking to hone your negotiation skills, whether in business life or family life, you may want to considering starting with these three new books, recommended by the New York Times. The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes, by William L. Ury. “Mr. Ury believes that ... Continue reading this article…

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Guest Post: Quality Clothes for Less than a Buck

by Luke Landes

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg is a columnist for the Miami Herald. She writes about about saving money and the art of being frugal in her column as well as on her blog, The Frugal Duchess. In this guest post, Sharon writes about making the best choices in clothing through the concept of cost-per-wear. It’s a cute ... Continue reading this article…

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Read the New York Times Online for Free

by Luke Landes

If you are a student, the New York Times will now allow you to have access to their premium content (TimesSelect) for free. Technically, you don’t have to be a student. All that is required is an email address with the “edu” top level domain. Some universities offer “edu” email addresses to their alumni as ... Continue reading this article…

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Shopping at Kohl’s and Being Granted Discounts

by Luke Landes

I’ve found Kohl’s to be a good store when it comes to shopping for clothing. They have sales pretty often, and it’s very easy to find bargains. The clothing seems to be of a decent quality, nothing special, and the items I’ve bought have held up well over the past few years. A coworker had ... Continue reading this article…

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Best Cars of 2007: Consumer Reports vs. Car and Driver

by Luke Landes

Consumer Reports released its top picks for 2007, which lists the organization’s favorite cars in several categories. Here is their methodology: Our Top Picks are recommended vehicles that have met our stringent requirements in three key areas: Testing. Of the more than 250 vehicles we’ve recently tested, each Top Pick has scored at or near ... Continue reading this article…

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Soylent Synvisc: It’s Birds!

by Luke Landes

Television commercials for pharmaceutical products — drugs — fascinate me. Usually they do little to explain what the drug really does, but they certainly make it sound as if everyone should be taking it on a regular basis. All narrators are sure to say, “Ask your doctor if you should take [insert market-tested brand name].” ... Continue reading this article…

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One Way to Get Rid of Telemarketers

by Luke Landes

Without a landline phone, I don’t receive many calls from telemarketers. André-Tascha Lammé from Sacramento was having a problem with mortgage lenders, and decided to take care of the problem through the courts. So far, Lammé has won $6,000 in judgments against telemarketers in three cases. He’s not a lawyer, but by filing in small ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Tips for a Frugal Valentine’s Day

by Luke Landes

Do you want to be romantic and save money? In a world where romanticism is portrayed by the media as the giving of expensive gifts like diamonds, a Lexus, and a tropical vacation, romanticism and frugality are seen as incompatible. Here are some ways to bring the two concepts together in a beautiful marriage of ... Continue reading this article…

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PayPal Offering $15 Cash Rebate

by Luke Landes

Through the end of March, PayPal is offering a $15 cash rebate for any purchase of $30 or more. That’s a nice discount. One condition is that the purchase must be made through any website offering PayPal as a payment option, including eBay. If you send money using the “Send Money” option within PayPal, your ... Continue reading this article…

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Lawrence Toyota Screwed Up

by Luke Landes

My friend Doobie is frustrated with the quality of service at Lawrence Toyota in New Jersey: So I get my oil changed Tuesday over at Lawrence Toyota and after about a half hour, they call me over and tell me that my radiator’s cracked… Basically, the “experts” at Lawrence Toyota told me I had a ... Continue reading this article…

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Consumerist’s Worst Company in America Contest

by Luke Landes

Did you have any horrible consumer-related experiences with companies this past year? Is there a company you feel should be dragged through the mud? Nothing brings a corporation to the ground faster than a web award, and Consumerist is delivering the punch. Send them a comment with you story — or leave a comment here ... Continue reading this article…

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Jonathan Saved Me 17%

by Luke Landes

Jonathan from MyMoneyBlog posted about wireless plan discounts based on the company that employs you, so I decided to look into Verizon’s Employee Discounts to see if I qualified. Good news! Within the next two billing cycles, I will have a discount of 17 percent applied to my bill. This discount is for personal cell phones, ... Continue reading this article…

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Costco vs. Tiffany, Who Has the Bargain on Diamonds?

by Luke Landes

At my father’s house for dinner last night, one of the guests brought up a story on Good Morning America in which shoppers and diamond experts compared their findings from Costco with those from Tiffany & Co. The GMA shoppers visited both stores, purchased stones, and reported their findings. First, at Tiffany, Good Morning America ... Continue reading this article…

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American Express and Spinal Tap?

by Luke Landes

I never thought I’d see the day a song by the “mostly fictional” band Spinal Tap (Gimme Some Money, their first single from “1965″) is used in a commercial for a completely non-fictional product. That day was today. I haven’t found a video online yet of this American Express commercial, but look out for this ... Continue reading this article…

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Get Free Money: Comparing Cash Back (Rebate) Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

Almost all of my spending is done by credit card. It’s convenient and I receive cash back for every purchase. Since I pay the balance off every month, I never pay any interest charges or late fees. I don’t spend more than I normally would were I to use cash instead. I have a disciplined ... Continue reading this article…

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