April 2011

Musing about Gold Transformers – at the Carnivals

Another week, another set of three carnivals. First up, Living Almost Large presents the 209th Carnival of Personal Finance.  She named my rant about the Cash for Clunkers program as an editor’s pick. In addition, I recommend Punch Debt In the Face’s debate about whether using credit cards will send you to hell. My answer: no. It’s just a tool people, not a sin. Next, the Festival of Frugality #102 hosted by Stupid Cents. In…
Continue Reading

Car Loan Basics

I’m buying a new car this weekend. My husband and I considered spending our entire emergency fund to pay cash for the car, but then we took a look at the budget and decided it was too big a risk. So, we’ve decided to get a car loan. Rates are pretty reasonable right now for people with our credit. Car Loan Sources You can get a car loan…
Continue Reading

10 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is here again. It happens every April 22, so it should come as no surprise this year. We’ve been a bit distracted recently, what with the global economic meltdown and all, but none of that will matter if the entire Earth has a meltdown because we’ll be too busy learning to make boats to worry about our 401K balances (or lack thereof.) You may not believe…
Continue Reading

Frugal Comfort Foods

Winter comfort foods are the best. They fill you up, they make you feel warm inside, they’re comforting, and most of the time they’re cheap. Of course, you can make winter foods that much better by cooking them fresh. Not only will you reduce the calories and sodium, but it’s friendlier for your budget, too. My Top Seven Winter Comfort Foods: Homemade chicken pot pie Chili with cheddar…
Continue Reading

The Pitfalls and Pleasures of Making an Offer on a Home

House hunting is stressful. Making an offer on a home is even more stressful. How much should you offer? What else should you ask for? Will the seller work with you on the price? It’s a process that’s full of landmines, and you’ll likely lose a lot of sleep. At the very least, you’ll be signing a LOT of documents. Here are the pitfalls and pleasures of home purchase…
Continue Reading

Free Banking Rewards Alert

Yesterday Citibank emailed me and asked me to share this free money opportunity with you: Starting this month, Citibank will be offering customers up to $225 in merchant gift cards through the Thank You Network for opening a new checking, money market or credit card account. If you’re in the market for a new bank because your old one has closed or was bought out, this is a…
Continue Reading

Save Money on Books – Personal

I read year-round, but my reading has definitely increased since the writer’s strike commenced. I’ve read four or five books already this year and read another three to four at the end of last year. Summer also leaves me a lot of time to read. In addition, I was recently a grad student, which meant I had to devise method to save money on research books. Today I’ll…
Continue Reading

Never Buy TV Shows on DVD Again

My husband and I own all seven seasons of the West Wing on DVD. We figured we’d start watching them from the beginning once the show was over. Yeah, that never happened. We’ve watched maybe 20 episodes, most of them after catching a repeat on TV and wanting to see the rest of that episode or the episode after it. Definitely not the best investment, although we didn’t…
Continue Reading

Arepas: Cheap, Filling, Easy Comfort Food

Gluten-Free Girl posted complete instructions for arepas a few months ago. This was the first I’d heard of them, but they’re South American corn cakes. They’re super-easy to make, very filling, and very cheap. How to Make Arepas For complete instructions, see the GFG post with pictures. Here’s a quick rundown: Ingredients: 2 cups harina P.A.N. or masarepa (not masa harina) 1 teaspoon oil 1 teaspoon salt 2 ½ cups…
Continue Reading
Benefits of couponing, a picture of a grocery store

Six Reasons Why You SHOULD Use Coupons

This morning, Money Saving Mom pointed me to an article on Yahoo Finance that provided eight reasons why you shouldn’t use coupons. As you can imagine, I got as feisty as MSM did! This article is completely ridiculous. So here are six reasons you should use coupons. 6 Benefits of Couponing 1. Coupons Save Money on Must-Have Items Yes, sometimes I do buy toilet paper on supersale without a coupon, but I…
Continue Reading