Freezer Cooking Made Simpler

Freezer cooking is all the rage right now. If you’re unfamiliar, you shop the circulars and coupons to find the best deals, stock up on sale items, and then make a month-long menu plan (with some repeat items.) Then, you spend one or two days doing all the cooking for one whole month and put it in the freezer. In theory, you then only need to buy produce and beverages…
Continue Reading

Decoding Your Health Benefits

I recently started receiving acupuncture. I knew that my insurance covered 12 visits a year. I checked the coverage and learned that my portion is a $15 co-pay for the office visit, and then 10% of the treatment. But that’s not how it worked out, and it’s taken several calls to get it sorted out. Reading the Benefits Website I started at the website. That’s where it said…
Continue Reading

Eight Questions to Ask Before Updating Your Life Insurance

As you go through the rest of your year-end financial wrap-up, it’s also a good time to take a look at your life insurance policy. Most people buy a 10 or 20-year term life insurance policy and then just forget about it, but you could be under-insured if your life has changed since you bought the policy. When to Adjust Your Life Insurance If you bought your life insurance more…
Continue Reading

Healthcare Laws that Take Effect September 23, 2010

A few healthcare laws changed immediately with the passage of the Healthcare Reform bill, but most will take some time to take effect. Several important measures that don’t affect your taxes go into effect on September 23, 2010. You may have already received a notice about them from your health insurance company. If not, here’s what you need to know: Health Insurance for Adult Children Under the old law, children…
Continue Reading

Good News for Gift Card Holders

Today, the Federal Reserve announced long-awaited new rules governing gift cards. For some of you, your state laws already provided these protections, but now they will be extended to all consumers as of August 22, 2010. The new rules also apply to network cards (bank-issued cards), which many state laws do not. If you’ve got gift cards in your wallet, here’s what you need to know. Gift Card Expiration Dates…
Continue Reading

That Makes Me Stabby: Shop for Earth Day

I noticed a disturbing trend yesterday: a flurry of emails in my inbox encouraging me to buy something in honor of Earth Day. To be fair, I may in fact go buy a ceramic compost pail, but I was already looking for one. I’m not, however, going to buy a discounted sweater or a marked down TV for Earth Day. At what point did Earth Day become a…
Continue Reading

2009 H&R Block At Home Tax Software Review

This weekend was full of accomplishments, and one of them was getting my taxes done. I’ve been using online tax software for nearly a decade, so I’d become pretty handy at it. Still, this was the first time I had to itemize my taxes and had a major life change to deal with, so I was a bit nervous about finding all the deductions. That’s why I was…
Continue Reading

Saving Money vs. Reducing Packaging

I’ve been having an internal battle with my goal to be frugal and my goal to avoid excessive packaging. I made my own produce bags. I carry canvas bags to stores with me, and not just grocery stores. I don’t buy a lot of packaged food and try to keep the packaging for the rest of my products to a minimum. But it’s not always easy. I’m currently…
Continue Reading

New Homeowner – Which Tools Do I Really Need?

Most people have a few basic tools, even if they live in apartments, but once you move into your first home, you may find yourself needed a lot more tools. Here are the basics we’ve needed in our first two weeks in our new home. Screwdrivers: We needed Phillips and Flat head screwdrivers in several sizes. Fortunately, we have a multi-bit screwdriver set. It has one handle and…
Continue Reading

How to Budget for an Expensive Hobby

I’ve written a post in the past about inexpensive hobbies, but I happen to have a really expensive hobby. It’s also very time and labor-intensive, so I don’t get to do it often, but I haven’t given it up. In fact, I’m thinking of taking up a new project now that I have a house. Expensive Hobbies Several of my friends have very expensive hobbies. I have a friend…
Continue Reading