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Consumer

How to Hedge Against Gasoline Price Increases

by Luke Landes
Gas Pump Fuel | crowt59

When gasoline prices at the pump increased to the point where the cost was a major news item engendering backlash among the public, oil companies were sporting big profits. Consumers reacted by buying more fuel-efficient cars and traveling less, but there is another approach for investors — an approach that mimics what commodities and hedge […]

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Retail Marketers Attract Shoppers With 13 to 20 Seasons

by Luke Landes
Cadbury Egg Easter

I always wondered why stores like Target and Wal-Mart added groceries to their already wide variety of products for sale. I figured these stores were attempting to be more of a one-stop-shop for all shopping needs, keeping customers in the store longer, and providing less of a reason to go to the supermarket, grocery store, […]

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Extreme Couponing: Woman Arrested for Stealing Newspapers

by Luke Landes
Grocery shopping

I’ve spoken out against the concept of “extreme couponing” a few times already. In search of ratings, television shows — and in particular, “reality” television shows, use creative editing to make practitioners seem crazier than they are, but the concept has caught on so well, some people, in real reality, stop at very little in […]

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Why I Still Drive My Old Honda Civic

by Luke Landes
Honda Civic

After noticing, month after month, that I include the value of my 2004 Honda Civic in my monthly net worth updates, a reader wrote in to Consumerism Commentary to ask why I haven’t given into my desires and purchased something newer or more exciting. I’ve had a bit of a storied past with cars, but […]

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Verizon Wireless Roaming Charges Class Action Lawsuit

by Luke Landes

I received a notice in the mail stating that I could receive benefits from Verizon Wireless as a result of a class action settlement. The lawsuit alleges that the mobile phone company failed to provide free roaming as part of Verizon’s “America’s Choice II” calling plan. The plan documentation stipulated that there would be no […]

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The Best Back-to-School Shopping Tips

by Luke Landes
Back to School

The best way to get the most for your money when shopping for school supplies is to start early. While there are some good deals and good sales during the summer before the school year starts, you can only take advantage of them if you’re prepared. Some deals aren’t ask great as they’re advertised to […]

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Sales Tax Holidays, 2011

by Luke Landes

For several years, many states offer sales tax holidays, several dates set aside during which merchants will not charge customers sales tax. Each year, the dates and the participating states change. I’ve updated this list for 2011 as we’re approach the back-to-school shopping season. Consumers should take advantage of the few days their state offers […]

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Most Americans Can’t Pay for Car Repairs, 4 Tips to Help

by Luke Landes
Hail damage to a car

According to a recent survey by AAA, 62 percent of American drivers would not be able to pay $2,000 for car repairs without going into debt with a credit card or asking for money from friends or family. While the savings rate is positive, it’s not common for consumers to put aside a portion of […]

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

by Luke Landes

Last November, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began to take shape after being a part of a bill in Congress signed into law in July 2010. Now, a year later, the bureau is ready to launch. Elizabeth Warren was appointed by President Obama to assemble the bureau, and in this role, Congress pressed her on […]

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Extreme Couponing Fuzzy Math

by Luke Landes
Walmart Grocery Shopping

I’m a big fan of saving money on necessary spending. Grocery shopping is expensive, and food and household staples present an excellent opportunity to find coupons and save money with every visit. The savings can be substantial if you’re willing to put in the time to find the right coupons, dumpster-dive to collect other people’s […]

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