Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pricing Tricks That Make You Spend More

If you find yourself reaching for a $39.99 sweater or loading up on $0.99 iTunes songs, you’re not alone. The strategy of ending prices with 99 cents has been around for decades and has worked its magic on almost all of us. But it’s certainly not the only trick retailers use when pricing products.

Merchants use a variety of strategies to get us to spend more from labeling prices without dollar signs to setting a per-customer limit. And this takes place at all ends of the spectrum from buying food and toys to cars and houses.

Think you’re not susceptible to simple pricing tricks? Watch the following video from Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson, and then read the entire article.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Emergency Fund

Ask any respected voice in the personal finance community what the number one thing you should do to get your finances in order is, and the chances are very high that they'll say you need to start by developing an emergency fund.

For instance, Dave Ramsey, author of the "The Total Money Makeover," has this as the very first step in his Seven Baby Steps. Why? Because if you ever lose your job or are otherwise unable to bring in an income, the emergency fund would be your go-to source until you get back on your feet.

So how do you go about creating your emergency fund? Here's a step-by-step guide to help you.

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Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Lots of things contribute to our well-being: our homes, our relationships, and, of course—our sleep. As we dive into the New Year, consider creating a sanctuary for slumber, a place that looks beautiful, yes, but also cultivates a state of serenity. Your bedroom should feel calming to your senses; a dark and quiet haven and a place to delight in the simple pleasures.

Open the windows; nature is the original Ambien. There’s something about connecting with the natural world—from whence we came—that makes the daily minutiae dissolve (as Benjamin Franklin said, “People who live in the forest, in open barns, or with open windows, do not catch cold, and the disease called a cold is generally caused by impure air”).  Read the entire article.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why I Don’t Ever Want a Luxury Car


A while back, I read a “wonderful” article over at Forbes entitled “Ten Reasons to Buy a Luxury Car.” Such important factors as “prestige” and “horses under the hood” were bandied about.

Personally, I didn’t really find any of the reasons to be compelling ones for buying a luxury car. Instead, here are six reasons why I’ll pretty much never buy one, even if I happened to have the large stack of money one would require. If the sticker price and the insurance weren’t enough…  Read the entire article.

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25 Reasons Why It's Good to Know Your Neighbors

Are you the kind of person who passes by the neighbors without so much as a wave or nod?

Be warned, you may regret it when you need a helping hand. To help convince you to be a better neighbor — and go out of way to be nice to yours, even — here are 25 reasons why it’s good to know the folks who live next door, down the street, and around the corner.  Read the entire article.

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10 Clever Uses for a Garage

Garages: they’re not just for cars anymore ... garages can be an untapped gold mine of additional space for a wide range of uses.

There are three things you need to consider if you are thinking of making over a garage:

One, always check with your municipality to make sure you have all appropriate permits.

Two, make sure whatever you are planning isn’t going to be a big problem for your neighbors.

Three, you may need to negotiate with your family members regarding the use of the space, since there may be conflicts about the use of the space.

You will also need to think about whether you need water, electricity, heat, additional lighting, and insulation/sound-proofing.  Here are a few ideas to get your juices flowing.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Charlotte Airport Does Worm Composting


The nation’s tenth busiest airport, Charlotte Douglas International, sees about forty million passengers annually. Forty million passengers, among other things, generate a lot of trash, approximately half a pound per person.

That’s why officials have implemented a new system to cut down on waste sent to the landfill using some unusual participants: almost 2 million worms. Yes, worms, the kind you find in your backyard and in fishing tackle boxes. They’re nature’s composters, and they’re being enlisted to help manage the millions of pounds of waste the airport generates.  Read the entire article.

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Build Kitchen Under-the-Sink Storage Trays


Construct roll-out trays for extra storage space in the sink base cabinet.

Build these handy undersink roll-out trays in a weekend. You can tackle this project with simple carpentry tools and some careful measuring. You can make all the trays in an afternoon using building products from your local home center or hardware store.

Cost: $20-$100 for as little as $80.
Get step-by-step instructions here.

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Frugal Ideas For Valentine's Day

Meredith sent these links to us from the frugal publication at

Make sure you celebrate Valentine's Day. You can celebrate with a friend, visiting a nursing home, doing something special for a neighbor or any number of other ideas you will come up with .... it's not about romance, it's about love!

Romantic Date Ideas for Valentine's Day

Unique Valentine's gifts on a tight budget

Easy, cheap ways to decorate for Valentine's Day

Valentine surprises under $10 and 10 minutes 

Romantic Valentine's ideas

Teen Valentine's gift ideas

Creative ways to love your Valentine without spending too much

Visit the TDS Romance section for more ideas!

Thanks Meredith!
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Milk Is NOT a Good Source of Calcium

The milk myth has spread around the world based on the flawed belief that this protein and calcium-rich drink is essential to support good overall health and bone health in particular at any age. It is easy to understand that the confusion about milk’s imaginary benefits stems from the fact that it contains calcium – around 300 mg per cup.

But many scientific studies have shown an assortment of detrimental health effects directly linked to milk consumption. And the most surprising link is that not only do we barely absorb the calcium in cow’s milk (especially if pasteurized), but to make matters worse, it actually increases calcium loss from the bones. What an irony this is! Here’s how it happens. .

More Resources:
Natural News
Global Healing Center
Live Strong
Not Milk

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Store Honey Isn't Really Honey?

More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News.

The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled “honey.” The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies.

The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. However, the FDA isn’t checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen.  Read the entire article and view a list of brands that were tested.

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8 Scary Hidden Ingredients in Processed Foods


If you haven’t brushed up on your high school chemistry lately, chances are, you have a hard time figuring out the ingredients list on processed food labels.

What the heck is butylated hydroxyanisole? Any clue what ammonium sulfate is, and what else it’s used for?

Well, the answers might alarm you. Click through to read about some of the scariest, and some of the strangest, ingredients in processed foods.  Read the entire article.

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Surprising Things To Buy in Bulk

Warehouse-club staples, such as vats of mayonnaise and crates of toilet paper, aren’t the only products for which buying in bulk can translate into serious bargains.

We’ve discovered eight (8) unexpected buy-in-bulk values. For people who need these items in mass quantities, the savings can be significant.

Just remember: This strategy requires commitment. To snag the lower per-unit prices (all listed prices here exclude taxes and fees) and capture the full value of your purchase, you have to be willing to pay the larger upfront costs and use all of your supplies.

Happy bargain hunting!  Read the entire article.

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"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28