11 Clarifying Shampoos to Save Your Strands After Swimming

While we’re big fans of those beachy waves that come from taking a dip in the ocean, the effect pools have on our hair is another story. Pools can cause hair to feel dry and brittle and sometimes even turn it green. That’s why clarifying shampoos are so important.

Clarifying shampoos are a year-round necessity if you’re a product junkie. But summer brings special concerns from all the time we spend in the water. If you’ve got blond locks, your biggest seasonal hurdle is trying to prevent that dreaded green tinge after swimming in chlorinated water. News flash: Chlorine is not the real culprit. It’s actually copper in the water that’s oxidized by chlorine that gives the less-than-desirable tint.

How often you treat your hair to clarifying shampoo depends on the nature of your strands. It’s best to stick to using one once or twice a week, but be careful if your locks are colored. Clarifying shampoos are great for prepping your hair before getting it colored, but they can wreak havoc on that new shade since they’ve been known to strip color.

If you’re planning to spend the rest of the summer underwater, you’ll need some good waterproof makeup and one of these clarifying shampoos that are real lifesavers for your strands.

[ Next: Yes, You Really Do Need to Wear Hair Sunscreen Every Day ]

The post 11 Clarifying Shampoos to Save Your Strands After Swimming appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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Want to buy a house? How long you’ll have to save depends on where you live

For the average renter buying the median-priced home in America, it will take about 6½ years to save for a 20 percent mortgage down payment. But it could take more than two or three decades in some places.
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Anatomy of a 97,000% drug price hike: One family’s fight to save their son


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Here’s one easy way to save big money on your cable bill

While it’s true that more and more people are opting for streaming TV these days, one question money expert Clark Howard still gets a lot is, “How can I keep cable but save money?”

Here’s how to save money on your cable bill

An easy way to keep your cable but save on your monthly bill is to eliminate your modem fee. Many cable companies charge a monthly fee for using the cable modem that allows you to connect to the internet and watch television. Take a gander at your cable bill and see if you can find this fee or “surcharge.”

Most cable companies charge between $ 6 to $ 10 per month for a cable modem. That means you’re paying up to $ 120 a year — and that fee never goes away. It’s just a perennial charge that the companies collect as long as you’re a customer.

So not only are you paying for the actual content you’re consuming, but the cable company is basically charging you a rental fee for that rectangular box. The great thing is, you can buy one yourself and cut out the middleman altogether.

For example, a Netgear N450 WiFi Docsis 3.0 Cable Modem Router gives you internet access and the capability to get all the channels you subscribe to. It currently costs $ 69.86 on Amazon.

That means for a one-time charge, you can save as much as $ 50 in the first 12 months and be done with that fee forever.

Before you buy, make sure that the modem you choose works with your cable provider. The Netgear modem’s product description says it’s “compatible with Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, & more.”

Photo credit: Amazon.com

No matter which cable modem you choose, make sure it has Wi-Fi. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy a separate router.

More Clark.com stories you may like: 

For all the latest deals on electronics and more, check out our sister site, ClarkDeals.com!

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Will I save money by buying an all-in-one car seat?

by

Joyce Slaton

posted in Products

Blame the Graco 4Ever: though all-in-one car seats have been on the market for years, the 4Ever was the all-in-one breakthrough. It won 2018’s Best Convertible Car Seat award in the 2018 Mom’s Picks, and it’s one of the most popular car seats out there.

Parents love the idea of buying one seat that takes their child safely from infancy through the booster seat years. But they also tend to think that buying just one seat will save money too. And that’s not necessarily true.

Graco 4Ever, $ 299.99
Graco Size4Me 65, $ 122.09
Graco Highback TurboBooster, $ 59.66

So you see that you actually pay more than $ 100 more for the 4Ever. It may be worth it to you — and the 4Ever is sometimes available on sale for as little as $ 220 — but know that you’re not automatically saving money by buying one seat.

The same is true of some other all-in-one seats — but not all.

The Evenflo SafeMax Platinum All-in-One pictured above goes for $ 279.99 (though it can frequently be found on sale for less). But if you wanted to go the non all-in-one route, the Evenflo SureRide DLX is a bargain fave for $ 89.99, and the Evenflo Amp is a popular highbacked booster for $ 32.99.

The total? $ 122.98, or $ 157.01 less than the SafeMax alone.

The Evenflo Amp
However, all-in-one seats aren’t always more expensive than buying a convertible and then a booster seat. Safety 1st’s Grow and Go is a well-reviewed bargain all-in-one seat that retails for $ 199, though we found it for $ 189.99, and it can be had for as little as $ 129 or even less on sale (here it is for $ 127.99, for instance.)

Safety 1st Grow-and-Go
Meanwhile, Safety 1st’s popular bargain seat the Guide 65 goes for $ 80.84, while the brand’s most popular booster, the Safety 1st Store ‘n Go is $ 58.06. The grand total? $ 138.90, or a little more than $ 10 more than the on-sale Grow and Go.

Comparison shopping is such a drag. But so is wasting money. Careful shoppers: good luck out there.

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Back from the brink of suicide, they want to save others

They are survivors from all walks of life. The deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain shook them. They are now speaking up to save more lives. “People have been through unimaginable things in their life and have come out the other side.”


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Save On Pet Guinea Pig Supplies With DIY Know-How and Smart Shopping


I’ve had two guinea pigs, Chocolate and Vanilla, for almost five years, and they make wonderful pets. They’re low- maintenance and cute as anything.

But like any pet, a guinea pig has needs that can dent your bank account. Through trial and error, I figured out what to buy and what to skip.

Habitat

The first thing you need when you adopt a guinea pig is a cage. But not all small pet cages are suited for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs cannot live in a wire-bottom cage like rabbits can. They must have some kind of flooring to protect their feet, which are small and sensitive.

I found the cages at pet stores woefully lacking. They were too expensive and too small. The Humane Society of the United States recommends housing a maximum of two guinea pigs in a cage that’s at least 7.5 square feet. Most cages advertised for guinea pigs are much smaller.

I purchased an uncovered MidWest guinea pig cage for about $ 35 on Amazon. Not only was it cheaper than pet-store cages, it was roomy enough for my two guinea pigs to claim their own territory and get some exercise. (Males, especially, need room to avoid each other when they’re grouchy.)

Lots of guinea pig owners prefer to build their own cage. The supplies are available at most big-box and office-supply stores and allow owners to customize their cages at a low cost. Alexandria’s Animals on YouTube has a video on how to build a C & C (cubes and corrugated plastic) cage.

Bedding

Bedding is where I spend most of my guinea-pig dollars because we clean our cage at least once a week.

The easiest bedding option is natural paper bedding. You can buy it in pet stores, big-box stores and even some grocery stores.

However, I found that the cheapest place to get bedding is Amazon. I search for guinea-pig bedding, then I scroll through the list to see which one is the cheapest per liter. Generally, I can get a 60L package of paper bedding for approximately $ 15. Sometimes I score one on sale for about $ 13. One package of bedding lasts almost a week in our house.

The trick is not to become loyal to a particular kind. I’ve even ordered confetti-colored paper bedding because it was the cheapest choice.

An even cheaper option, in the long run, is to use fleece. Lots of guinea-pig owners prefer to use fleece to line their cages because it’s reusable and they feel it’s more comfortable for their guinea pigs.

However, you have to have the right kind of fleece, which wicks urine down to an absorbent layer underneath. Look for 100% polyester anti-pill fleece. Then prepare the fleece by washing and drying it three to five times in hot water with detergent, without fabric softener or dryer sheets. Washing the fleece over and over removes the protective barrier from the fleece and allows liquids to pass through.

Once the fleece is prepared, place it in the cage on top of an absorbent layer, like paper bedding, puppy pads or newspaper. Jessica’s Nerd Life has a YouTube video on how to prepare fleece for guinea pig cages.

I’ll be honest; I tried the fleece method and I couldn’t hack it. I didn’t like sweeping up poop and hay every day. Plus, you have to have at least two prepared fleeces: one to use and one to wash. On top of that, I couldn’t get it to work properly. The smell was awful. I decided to stick with paper bedding.

You may be thinking that newspaper would be a cheap alternative to paper bedding, but I don’t recommend it. Newspaper tends to soak up urine, leaving your poor piggy in sopping wet, smelly bedding after only a day.

Please do not use pine or cedar shavings for guinea-pig bedding. Although it’s still sold in stores, the oil and resin can be harmful to small pets. The aromatic oils from pine and cedar can irritate a guinea pig’s skin, eyes and respiratory tract.

Food

guinea pig eating a carrot
Vanilla chowing down on a carrot. Photo courtesy of Nancy Basile.

Guinea pigs need hay, preferably Timothy hay. Not only do they get nutrition from hay, it keeps their teeth from growing too long. Guinea pigs, like rabbits, have teeth that will continue to grow to unhealthy lengths if they don’t have something hard to chew on. Hay takes a lot of chewing.

Guinea pigs also need pellet food, preferably made from Timothy hay. Pellets that have alfalfa hay as a base are high in calcium, which may lead to bladder stones.

I buy pellet food and Timothy hay from Amazon. Again, I’m not loyal to a brand, so I’m able to buy the cheapest options. I generally buy a five-pound bag of Kaytee pellet food for about $ 6. It lasts for several months.

Don’t be tempted to buy guinea-pig pellet food with extras — those colorful nuggets of non-nutritious food that’s added to the pellets. According to VetBabble, it’s like adding candy to their healthy food.

Guinea pigs must also have fresh produce. They can’t produce vitamin C, so they need to get it from their food. I feed our guinea pigs carrots, kale and, for a treat, strawberries. I occasionally give them a bit of apple.

The good news is that they’re not super picky. Check your grocery store for a produce clearance section. My store has a shelf with bruised, broken and spotted fruit and vegetables that I can buy at about a third of the full price. My little guys don’t care if their carrots are starting to brown. (But I would never feed them rotten food.)

Chews

As mentioned above, guinea pigs need to chew on stuff to keep their teeth a healthy length. Stores sell all kinds of wooden blocks and hay cubes, but they’re expensive and unnecessary.

Guinea pigs can chew on cardboard, which is probably as plentiful in your house as it is in mine. Remember all my Amazon orders? I use the boxes to build “additions” to my guinea pigs’ cage. They usually chew on the cardboard flaps.

You can also give your guinea pig a paper towel or toilet-paper tube to chew on. Try shoving lettuce or other foods inside to give your guinea pig a boredom buster.

What Not to Buy

There are a lot of products out there for guinea pigs that are a waste of money. Here are things you don’t need to buy.

Litter. Guinea pigs are nearly impossible to litter train. Don’t bother.

Toys. Guinea pigs don’t play with toys. They’re happy with a cardboard box or tube. You can also create tunnels and mazes from cardboard to give them some exercise and fun.

Clear, plastic balls. Guinea pigs are not hamsters. They will not run around the house in a big, clear ball. They will just sit and wonder what’s happening.

Fancy houses. Guinea pigs like to have a cover over their heads, but they don’t need anything fancy. A plastic igloo or cardboard box works just fine.

Pillows. You might see videos of guinea pigs sleeping with their heads on pillows. It’s super cute, so I bought two on Etsy. My guinea pigs completely ignore them.

Nancy Basile is a freelance writer who didn’t expect to fall in love with her two guinea pigs, Chocolate and Vanilla. Follow her on Instagram @mediamedusa.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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This Discount Attractions Pass Could Save You Money on Your Next Vacation


Everybody loves a good travel deal.

Some bargains are obvious, like comparing airline ticket prices to see which is lowest.

Other deals take a little investigating to figure out whether they’re a bargain.

Discount travel package company CityPASS bundles admission fees to several popular tourist attractions in a city for a single, lower price.

The passes are currently available in 13 North American cities:

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Boston, Massachusetts  
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Houston, Texas
  • New York, New York
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • San Francisco, California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Southern California
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Toronto, Canada

Travelers purchase a CityPASS filled with admission vouchers to each attraction. Simply show the pass at the attraction’s entrance for admittance.

CityPASSes are valid for nine consecutive days (14 days in California) beginning with the first day of use and don’t expire for at least one year from the date of purchase.

But are CityPASSes a bargain, or is it cheaper to buy tickets to attractions individually?

We crunched some numbers to find out.

Note: All prices are current as of April 2018 but are subject to change.

What You Get With a CityPASS

Empire State Building is pictured against a pretty sky.
The New York City CityPASS will get you into the Empire State building and several other destinations. ventdusud/Getty Images

Each destination’s booklet contains admission tickets to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. In some cities, you can choose one attraction over another to suit your taste.               

For instance, the New York City CityPASS includes tickets to:

  • The Empire State Building
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The American Museum of Natural History

You can also choose tickets for:

  • The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • The 9/11 Memorial & Museum or the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • The Top of the Rock Observation Deck or the Guggenheim Museum

No matter which combination of admission tickets you choose, at the end of your trip you’ll have visited six popular New York City attractions for a single price.

Does CityPASS Save You Money?

To decide whether a CityPASS is a good value, you need to compare it to the cost of buying individual attraction tickets.

Here are comparisons for three CityPASS destinations, rounded to the nearest dollar.

Chicago

Adler Planetarium is one of seven attractions available on The Chicago CityPASS. benkrut/Getty Images

A Chicago CityPASS includes admission to five of these seven attractions:

  • Shedd Aquarium Priority Entry (Including 4D Experience): $ 45 (adults) and $ 35 (children)
  • Skydeck Chicago Fast Pass: $ 49 (ages 3+)
  • The Field Museum All-Access Entry: $ 38 (adults) and $ 27 (children)
  • Museum of Science and Industry: $ 20 (adults) and $ 11 (children) when purchased online
    • Or 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck Express Entry: $ 44 (adult & child)
  • Adler Planetarium Anytime All Access Pass:  $ 35 (adults) and $ 30 (children)
    • Art Institute of Chicago Fast Pass $ 35 (adults) and $ 29 (ages 14-17). (Younger Children Are Free.)

Total ticket price for admission to Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, The Field Museum,       Museum of Science and Industry and Adler Planetarium:

  • Adult: $ 187
  • Child: $ 152

Total ticket price for admission to Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, The Field Museum,         360 CHICAGO Observation Deck and Art Institute of Chicago:

  • Adult: $ 211
  • Child: $ 184

Total price of a Chicago CityPASS:

  • Adult: $ 106
  • Child (3-11): $ 89

Southern California

The Southern California CityPASS includes admission to Disneyland. FrozenShutter/Getty Images

A Southern California CityPASS includes admission to these three attractions:

  • Disneyland & Disney California Adventure 3-day park hopper with Magic Morning: $ 330 (adults) and $ 314 (children)
  • SeaWorld San Diego: $ 70 (3+)
  • LEGOLAND California: Starts at $ 95 (adults) and $ 89 (children) when purchased online

Total ticket price for admission to Disneyland & Disney California Adventure, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California:

  • Adult: $ 495
  • Child: $ 473

Total price of a Southern California CityPASS:

  • Adult: $ 367
  • Child (3-9): $ 337

Tampa

A woman explores the Florida Aquarium
Tampa CityPASS holders can visit the Florida Aquarium and four additional attractions. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

A Tampa CityPASS includes admission to five of these six attractions:

  • Busch Gardens: $ 90 (ages 3 and older)
  • Florida Aquarium: $ 29 (adults) and $ 24 (children)
  • ZooTampa at Lowry Park: $ 35 (adults) and $ 26 (children)
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium: $ 23 (adults) and $ 18 (children)
  • Museum of Science and Industry: $ 13 (adults) and $ 8 (children) OR
    • Chihuly Collection: $ 20 (adults) and $ 13 (children)

Total ticket price for admission to Busch Gardens, Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Clearwater Aquarium and Museum of Science and Industry:

  • Adult: $ 190
  • Child: $ 166

Total ticket price for admission to Busch Gardens, Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Clearwater Aquarium and Chihuly Collection:

  • Adult: $ 197
  • Child: $ 171

Total price of a Tampa CityPASS:

  • Adult: $ 107
  • Child (3-9): $ 97

The Pros and Cons of CityPASS

In every instance, CityPASS provided a better value than purchasing each ticket individually.

However, there are other things to consider about CityPASSes than just whether they cost less than buying individual attraction tickets. Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind.

Pros:

There are definitely some upsides to buying a CityPASS.

  • Fixed costs help you stay within your budget.
  • A CityPASS allows you to skip the lines at many attractions.
  • Planning is easier because you already know what you’ll see and do on your trip.
  • A CityPASS is good for several days, giving you the freedom to change plans on the fly.
  • There’s only one ticket booklet to keep track of instead of several loose individual tickets.

Cons:

But there are also some downsides to buying a CityPASS.

  • Once you buy a CityPASS, you’ll waste money if you don’t visit the attractions as planned.
  • You may miss opportunities to spend time at other tourist draws, including free attractions like beaches or parks.
  • You may rush from attraction to attraction to get the most value for your money.
  • CityPASSes are nontransferable, so you lose your money if your travel plans change.
  • Prearranged commitments to certain attractions may take the spontaneity and fun out of travel.

CityPASSes can be a great deal for travelers who know exactly what they want to do on their trip, but others may find that type of commitment stifling.

Whether CityPASS is a good value on your next trip depends on your destination and how many attractions you want to visit. To find out if it’s right for you, roll up your sleeves, pull out a calculator and get ready to do some math if you choose one of the locations where we haven’t crunched the numbers.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys telling readers about affordable ways to travel, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Knowing This Secret About the ACT and SAT Can Save You Money and Stress


If you’ve taken the SAT or ACT before, you know the insta-anxiety induced by the essay portion that comes at the end of the test — and if you haven’t, you’re probably not looking forward to it.

But there’s good news for anyone who’s absolutely dreading test day for that very reason: It will probably be fine if you don’t even sign up for the essay portion, (which will save you money, too).

The Essay Portion of the SAT Doesn’t Really Matter

It’s true.

Most colleges and universities don’t care about your score on the essay portion of the SAT and ACT — or whether you’ve even taken that part of the test at all.

Last week, Yale University notified counselors who work with high school students that it will no longer require applicants to have completed the SAT or ACT essay sections.

Yale is the most recent university to make this decision.

Cornell and Columbia universities and the University of Pennsylvania also have said they will no longer rely on the essay portion of these standardized tests, either.

A few months ago, Harvard University announced the same decision, saying that while writing is still an incredibly important skill when it comes to considerations for college admissions, the SAT essay is a poor representation of an applicant’s mastery of the craft. The school will instead turn to an applicant’s admissions essay.

But it’s not just the Ivy Leaguers who don’t want to bother with your SAT or ACT essay score. The University of San Diego recently announced the same, and schools including the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee consider the essay portion of these tests optional.

The Princeton Review, which offers test prep, admissions advice and tutoring services, notes that “While over 70 percent of students taking the SAT and more than 50 percent taking the ACT opt in to the essay, not even 2 percent of colleges require an essay score.”

Save Money, Skip the Essay Portion of the SAT and ACT

The Princeton Review in June 2018 identified just 25 institutions that require scores from the essay portion of the SAT or ACT.

If your school of choice isn’t on that list, you’re probably safe to skip it.

And while you didn’t think the news could get any better than getting out of a 45- to 50-minute stretch of writing an essay by hand, the bonus is that you’ll actually save money, too.

For the 2018-2019 year, the fee to take the SAT with the essay portion is $ 64.50. The fee to take the SAT without the essay portion is $ 47.50.

The fee to take the ACT with the essay writing portion is $ 62.50, while the fee to take the ACT without the essay writing portion is $ 46.00. (If you’ve already signed up to take the ACT with the essay portion, you may be able to get a refund with a written request.)

Unfortunately, if your school of choice is on the list of schools that still require and care about a standardized test essay score, you’ll still want to sign up to take the essay portion of those tests.

Grace Schweizer is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Sherlock Star Benedict Cumberbatch Fights Off 4 Attackers to Save Civilian

Perhaps Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch should consider moonlighting as a superhero. He sure seemed to fit the bill this weekend when he saved a food delivery cyclist in London from four vicious muggers.

More: Benedict Cumberbatch Just Turned a Nursery Rhyme Into Art

Per U.K. paper The Sun, the actor spotted the attack from his Uber car and didn’t hesitate to help. He jumped out of the car and ran toward the ruckus, shouting, “Leave him alone!” Witnesses say that when the attackers failed to back off, Cumberbatch pulled them off the cyclist and fought them until they finally ran away.

Cumberbatch’s Uber driver, Manuel Dias, confirmed the heroic story to The Sun.

“I was taking Benedict and his wife to a club — but I didn’t know it was him at first,” Dias recounted. “I went to turn down into Marylebone High Street and we saw four guys were pushing around a Deliveroo cyclist. My passenger jumped out, ran over and pulled the men away. They turned towards him and things looked like getting worse, so I joined in.”

More: 5 Things to Know About Benedict Cumberbatch’s Miniseries Patrick Melrose

It was in the middle of the melee that Dias recognized Cumberbatch. “Then it all got a bit surreal. Here was Sherlock Holmes fighting off four attackers just round the corner from Baker Street,” Dias said, pointing out the proximity of the attack to the fictional Sherlock Holmes’ home at 221 B Baker Street.

Although he clearly contributed as well, the driver insisted that “the cyclist was lucky, Benedict’s a superhero.” He also noted that Cumberbatch was very brave and “did most of it, to be honest.”

If that doesn’t fill you with hope for humanity, Cumberbatch’s interaction with the rescued rider surely will. Said Dias, “He asked the rider how he was and when he said, ‘I’m OK,’ Benedict just hugged him.'”

More: 22 Things You Don’t Understand About the Benedict Cumberbatch Obsession

Deliveroo, the food delivery service the cyclist works for, responded via a spokesperson, thanking Cumberbatch for his heroic actions.

Benedict Cumberbatch Hero 1

Benedict Cumberbatch Hero 1

From onscreen Avenger to real-life superhero? If ever there was a day to be proud to call ourselves Cumberbunnies, today is that day. Well, let’s be real, we always are — but especially today.

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Here’s How to Find Brand-Name Baby Gear Online — And Save Hundreds


My daughter recently celebrated her fifth birthday, so it’s safe to say my husband and I are pretty far removed from all of that baby human stuff.

Between a couple of moves and several attempts to clean out our garage, only one item remained from my daughter’s infancy: the stroller.

So when I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I did what any newly expectant mother would do: I panicked.

Those first-year essentials really do add up.

With our impending bundle of joy fast-approaching, I’ve made it my mission to buy eco-friendly, BPA-free, phthalate-free, non-toxic products at price points that won’t break the bank.

But unlike with my first child, when I loaded up my registry and hoped friends and family would cover costs, I’ve learned a handful of baby products are better to buy used.

To find cheap baby stuff and save nearly $ 800 on brand name products like Stokke and Baby Bjorn, I turned to second-hand sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and even the return section of Buy Buy Baby.

In total, I spent $ 310 thrifting my way on must-haves for baby No. 2 — pennies in the bucket compared to the $ 1,122 I could’ve spent buying everything at full price.

My Big Craigslist Find

Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair, retail value: $ 249

Purchase Price: $ 50

Murphy purchased the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair on Craigslist for $ 50. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

The Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair was at the top of my list. It’s European design caught my eye, but I balked at its hefty retail price. A few weeks into my highchair hunt, I stumbled across a nearby Craigslist post asking $ 200.

The price felt a bit steep but this was one I was willing to splurge on. I offered $ 160 but the seller wouldn’t go lower than $ 190 so I begrudgingly walked away. Fortunately, the key to a good deal is patience.

On a recent trip to Sarasota to visit family about two-hours from my hometown of Orlando, I bought the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair from a mom on Craigslist for $ 50.

Score! That’s a savings of $ 200.

Essentials on Facebook Marketplace

Baby Bjorn Balance Bouncer, retail value: $ 168.99

Purchase price: $ 40 (Bonus: includes the Googly Eye Toy Bar, retail value: $ 59.99)

Purchased through the Facebook Marketplace, this Baby Bjorn Balance Bouncer is gently-used and included the Googly Eye Toy Bar attachment for $ 60. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

With my first, we had an electric baby swing. I didn’t want to spend $ 150 or more on a bulky item I’m only going to be using for a few months, so this was my cost-saving, minimalist solution.

I found a gently-used version selling for $ 60 on Facebook Marketplace. Plus the listing included the Googly Eye Toy Bar attachment. I could see the item was listed a while ago, so assuming she didn’t have other offers, I again decided to go lower than the asking price.

My $ 40 offer was accepted. It never hurts to try for a better deal than what’s being offered!

Baby Bjorn Carrier Original in Dark Blue, retail value: $ 79.99
Purchase Price: $ 10

Murphy shows off the Baby Bjorn carrier purchased for just $ 10 on the Facebook Market place. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

This find was a straight-up steal. I purchased this item for $ 10 on Facebook Marketplace. No stains, no tears, and in excellent working condition.

That’s a savings of roughly $ 70. Talk about a bargain!

Primo Infant Bath Tub, retail value: $ 24.99

Purchase price: $ 10

The Primo Infant Bath Tub goes for a retail value of $ 24.99. Murphy was able to find it used for $ 10. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Bathtubs are another great item to buy used. I found a like-new tub for $ 15 on Facebook Marketplace, but my $ 10 offer was accepted. It never hurts to ask for a better price.

Ubbi Diaper Pail in White, $ 69.99

This Ubbi diaper pail retails for $ 69.99. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Purchase price: $ 25

A mom from the Cocoa Beach area was selling the Ubbi Diaper Pail on Facebook Marketplace. She just so happened to be passing through Orlando so we met up in a Whole Foods parking lot off of Interstate 4 to make the exchange. I like this item because it is made of steel so, in theory, it shouldn’t absorb stinky diaper smells like a plastic diaper pail. It also keeps in line with my goal of staying plastic-free/no BPA products.

Baby Bjorn Cradle, retail value: $ 349

Purchase price: $ 80

Murphy saved $ 269 on this gently-used Baby Bjorn cradle by purchasing it through the Facebook Marketplace. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

My biggest deal was yet to come. Between constant feedings and changes, having a bassinet by our bedside is a must.

I first went to buy this item in like-new condition for $ 200 on Facebook Marketplace. At $ 150 off the retail price, it was a good deal but not a great deal. Since it was the only one available in my area, I arranged the pick-up for the next morning but diligently kept searching for a better price.

That evening, I found another seller asking $ 80. For anyone keeping track, a few extra searches saved me $ 289. Persistence is key!

Scoring in The Return Section

The return, sale and clearance sections at children’s stores (think Target, Walmart, and other similar retailers) can be a gold mine for a good deal. At the Buy Buy Baby I visited, the return section was right up front.

Skip Hop Explore & More Activity Center, retail value: $ 119.99

Purchase price: $ 95

Murphy puts the pieces together for the Skip Hop explore & more activity center she purchased in the return section of Buy Buy Baby. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Aside from online deal hunting, I also perused the return section of my local Buy Buy Baby, where I saved $ 25 on this open-box item.

While these sections vary from store-to-store, check with a retail associate to find out exactly where it’s located. Just be sure you’re only buying cheap baby stuff you need, and not tempted to spend money on an item just because of the discount!

Not Every Deal is a Good Deal

Cautionary tale: I purchased a used Ubbi diaper pail from Mercari.com, but when the item arrived it was not as described by the seller and didn’t match the picture on the site. Mercari sent me a return shipping label and promptly refunded my money.

There’s no getting around it: Preparing for a new baby isn’t cheap. But my time investment — a few hours of online searches and in-store shopping — leaves me with an extra $ 788 to spend on diapers and wipes. I’ll take it!

Rachel Murphy is a former network TV news producer turned freelance writer. She lives in Orlando with her husband, two English bulldogs, curly-haired little girl, and is deal-hunting her way to prepare for baby No. 2.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Save The Waves Announces 2018 Wave Saver Of The Year Awards

Santa Cruz, CA (May 17, 2018) As part of the annual Life Is A Wave event, Save The Waves Coalition is excited to announce this year’s Wave Saver awardees, presented by Peak Design.

Honoring an outstanding athlete, environmentalist and business for their unique and noteworthy contributions to protecting our waves and coastlines, this year’s winners are Cliff Kapono, Pro Surfer, Filmmaker and Scientist, ‘Aulani Wilhelm, Senior Vice President of Conservation International’s Center for Oceans, and Tom Stewart Co-founder of Sunski.

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – CLIFF KAPONO

liaw_cliffkapono the surf channel

Born in Hawaii, Cliff Kapono splits his time among his many passions: professional surfing, science and research, and independent filmmaking. He is currently on a path to obtain a PhD in chemistry from the University of California San Diego, and has produced several publications related to the fields of molecular bioscience. He has also written, produced and directed a handful award-winning films (including several that screened at STWFF stops) which have included a wide variety of topics such as indigenous activism, ocean conservation, and global food health. His current venture, “The Surfer Biome Project”, explores and examines chemicals and bacteria commonly found on surfers in different parts of the world. Most recently he launched the “Pro-Test” with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to get sustainable surfboards under the feet of professionals and into the mainstream of the surf industry.

ENVIRONMENTALIST OF THE YEAR – ‘AULANI WILHELM

liaw_aulaniwilhelm-768x768 the surf channel

As the Senior Vice President of Conservation International’s Center for Oceans, ‘Aulani Wilhelm has more than 20 years of experience in ocean conservation. She led the designation of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage site, the largest marine conservation area in the world and the first of its kind to recognize indigenous relationships to the sea. She is the founder of Island Water, a not for profit organization dedicated to providing clean water and reducing plastic pollution on islands, and Big Ocean, a global network of large-scale marine managed areas. In addition, ‘Aulani is crewmember of the Hokulea and the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and, as a Native Hawaiian, has a deep connection with the people, ecosystems, and traditions of the Pacific.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – TOM STEWART, SUNSKIS

liaw_tomstewart-768x768 thesurfchannel

Based in San Francisco, Sunski is an independent sunglasses brand who have undertaken the responsibility to make the world a better place – one shade at a time. As lifetime members of 1% for the Planet, Sunski has donated over $ 100K to environmental non-profits. In May 2018, Sunski launches its first ever collection of frames made entirely of recycled plastic. This material was developed entirely in-house, but still has all the same features as their original, iconic sunglasses. This exciting recycled technology will be complemented by other supply chain improvements over the coming years that further reduce Sunski’s environmental impact.

The Wave Savers will be honored at Save The Waves’ annual benefit in San Francisco, CA on June 21st.

Previous recipients of this award of include Greg Long, Mark Price, Bureo, Ramon Navarro, Sachi Cunningham, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Dr. Charles Lester, and Anna Cummins and Dr. Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres Institute.

In addition to recognizing our 2018 Wave Savers, the Life Is A Wave will feature a live and silent auction, with live music by Bay Area favorite, Sal’s Greenhouse. All funds raised directly support Save The Waves’ global environmental programs. Learn more and find tickets for Life Is A Wave here.

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How women over 40 can save the human race

Women are having fewer babies than ever before — except, surprisingly, those in their 40s. The number of births in the US last year to women of any age was roughly 3.8 million, down 2 percent from 2016, and a record low, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s latest birth statistics released Thursday. “At…
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6 ways to save money on your Memorial Day roadtrip

As millions of Americans prepare to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, some extra savings could make the trip even sweeter. As you fill up your tank with fuel and grab your map (yes, you should still have a map), you’re going to want to make your trip as cost-effective as possible.

AAA says more than 42 million Americans will kick off the summer travel season by getting away for Memorial Day. The projection constitutes a 5% increase over last year and the most in a dozen years.

Before you go to the ATM and drain your bank account for travel expenses, there are several ways to trim your budget.

Here are 6 ways to save money while road-tripping

If you plan on hitting the road for the holiday, here are some tips on saving money along the way:

  • Rent a vehicle: You may be tempted to drive your vehicle on the long journey, but money expert Clark Howard says you’ll end up saving more money in the long haul if you rent a car.  “If you shop and find a good deal on a rental car, you put those trip miles and the depreciation that goes with it on that rental car instead of your own,” he says.
  • Pack a lunch: If you’re going for the long haul on a one-day trip (no more than 10 hours on the road, OK?) it’s a good idea to pack a few snacks. Nothing too complicated and messy (no barbecue ribs and no ginormous tacos that spill into your lap), so as not to distract your driving. This will not only save you and your family some pretty nice cash, it will also save you time.
  • Download some restaurant apps: If you choose not to pack your own food, you likely will opt to pull over and grab a burger or something similar from a fast-food chain. There’s nothing wrong with that – but why not save money doing it? The BK mobile app has several coupons, including a buy-one-Whopper-get-one-free deal. The McDonald’s app has weekly deals, including a free McCafe with purchase.
  • Bring a cooler: Nothing wastes time more than having to pull off the interstate and venture into some strange little town for a $ 2.99 Dasani. Bringing chilled water is a great idea, especially if there happens to be a traffic jam and you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere for an hour.
  • Skip lodging: If your trip is not too long, generally about 500 miles or eight hours, you can save a bunch of money by not having to secure lodging. No way do we recommend driving more than eight hours safely. Better yet, got family along the way? Pay an overnight visit and catch up.
  • Don’t speed: The #1 way to save money on a road trip is to obey the traffic laws. Nothing stinks more than being pulled over and hearing those eight frightening words: “Do you know how fast you were going?” Trust us: The money you save on that ticket could be the difference between the cost of driving vs. flying.

AAA Senior Vice President Bill Sutherland says although gasoline prices are rising, it will do little to sway driver behavior this holiday.

“The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” Sutherland was quoted as saying. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.”

RELATED5 ways to save money on gas

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76-year old man sends thank-you letter to Tim Cook after the Apple Watch helped save his life

Apple Watch

Apple may have initially positioned the Apple Watch as something of a fashion accessory, but it’s become apparent in the years since its release that most users are drawn to the device for its fitness and health tracking capabilities. In turn, one of the more interesting aspects of the Apple Watch is that there are a growing number of stories involving Apple’s wearable actually saving lives.

Last October, for example, an Apple Watch wearer named James Green received a notification that his heart rate was abnormal. Upon going to the hospital to get things checked out, doctors discovered a pulmonary embolism, a condition that could have proven to be fatal if James didn’t seek immediate medical attention.

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76-year old man sends thank-you letter to Tim Cook after the Apple Watch helped save his life originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 13 May 2018 at 15:25:18 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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8 ways to save money at andThat! stores

You’re probably familiar with all the usual chain dollar store suspects — Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, 99-Cents Only.

But did you know there’s a new retailer that can qualify as a secret fifth dollar store chain — and that it masquerades as a home decor emporium?!

That’s the big secret about andThat! stores, a corporate cousin to the better-know likes of Bed, Bath & Beyond, Cost Plus World Market, buybuy BABY and others.

Here’s what Clark.com found when we visited one andThat! location…

RELATED: Cost Plus World Market: 8 ways to save money

How to save money at andThat! stores

With only a handful of locations in five states, andThat! isn’t a well-known name. But it is worth a look if you have one near you  and you like home decor stores that offer more than just the standard home decor — like alcohol, dry food and even pet food.

1. Know how to shop andThat! as a dollar store alternative

Dollar stores have way more inventory priced at a buck than andThat! stores do. But there were some major finds with the $ 1 price point jumping out at us when we walked the aisles.

$  1 aluminum bakeware

Among the more unique items we saw were packs of monogrammed facial tissue and vintage sodas for just $ 1.

$  1 vintage sodas

monogrammed facial tissue

And if the inner rebel in you doesn’t want to pay outrageous prices for candy at the movie theater, andThat! has a big selection of those giant boxes priced just right!

$  1 theater candy

2. Look for the 90% off rack

Rather than centralizing its clearance stuff, andThat! has it located at several different points throughout the store.

Right when we entered, we saw an area with a variety of items priced at 90% off the original price.

90% off clearance

That steep clearance price meant some items like this book we priced as low as 48 cents. That beats the pants off Dollar Tree’s $ 1 books!

cheap book

3. Shop the seasonal clearance section

andThat! was unloading its Easter gear for 75% off the original price at the location we visited.

Monogrammed Easter egg dying kits, anyone?

75% off seasonal clearance

4. Stop and shop the foyer

When you’re coming in from the parking lot, you go through the first set of automatic doors. But before you even cross the threshold of the store proper, there’s a foyer with a ton of promotionally priced merchandise.

This area is so thick with deals, you could practically trip over them!

And there’s that $ 1 price point again, this time on 14-ounce bottles of fancy boutique-style hand soap in the photo below.

$  1 soap at kennesaw andthat store

5. Don’t forget to check outside for bargains, too

andThat! lines up a lot of furniture and other deals along the store’s exterior. We found 98-cent windshield washer fluid and plant stands on sale, among other things.

That stands were marked down from $ 5.49 to prices starting at just $ 2.28.

windshield washer fluid plant stands

6. Some people come just for the coffee

andthat coffee

The coffee sales, that is.

One associate told Clark.com that some shoppers come just to load up on coffee like the Victor Allen’s 42-count single serve brew cups when they’re on sale for $ 9.99 each.

In fact, we saw one woman pile five boxes in her hands, all the way up to her chin, as she walked to checkout. The woman told us by pairing the sale price with a $ 10 coupon, she’s able to pay only $ 40 for all five boxes.

You can get the same coupon, too. Just text DEALS to 47283 for your $ 10 off a purchase of $ 50 coupon.

So how good of a deal is that price on coffee? Well, Amazon offers the same product in the same size at a much-higher price of $ 21 per box.

That’s a big savings!

7. Look for handwritten furniture markdowns

Some sets are marked down in red and they’re priced to move. This four-piece set was discounted by 20% off the original sale price.

furniture markdown 2

Meanwhile, if you like scratch-and-dent furniture, there’s no official ‘sold as is’ furniture section like there is at the store’s corporate cousin, World Market.

But after speaking with the andThat! manager, we learned that any scuffs or marks on the furniture could get you an additional discount at management’s discretion.

Hey, it never hurts to ask.

8. Check out the free phone charging

So this one’s not necessarily a way to save money, but it is a nicety for shoppers.

andThat! makes a free phone charging kiosk available for customers near the front of the store.

free phone charger

There are eight slots for phone charging. Your mobile phone number becomes your secure code to lock yours up and let it get some juice while you’re shopping.

free phone charger2

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How an App Helped This Guy Save for 2 Vacations He Couldn’t Miss


For the past three years, Monday through Friday, Jeremy Kolodziej clocked into his job at 6:30 a.m. and commenced his daily 18-mile walk.

The 27-year-old worked as a meter reader for an electrical company in the greater Chicago area. Each day, he’d trek yard to yard, gate to gate and deal with dogs, the weather — a little bit of everything unexpected.

“It wasn’t quite big-time bucks,” he says of the entry-level job.

He also worked a handful of part-time jobs here and there, as a bartender and a Pizza Hut manager.

“I was living comfortably,” he explains. “I make more than some people, but I’d start spending as soon as I made more money. Then you’re still living paycheck to paycheck.”

When Kolodziej committed to taking two vacations in July 2017, he started backpedaling, thinking there was no way he could afford both trips. He’d have to either disappoint his long-time buddies, who were planning a cruise as a last hurrah before getting married and settling down; or his mother, who wanted her son to finally attend a family reunion after missing the past two.

Kolodziej resolved to make a financial change — to start saving his change so he could take both trips.

He’d heard about Acorns through The Penny Hoarder, so he downloaded the microinvesting app and began both passively and actively saving money.

How This Guy Afforded Two Vacations in One Month

Jeremy, along with his cruise mates, got matching tank tops to commemorate the vacation. Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

For some, scheduling two vacations in one month sounds like a dream, but Kolodziej knew he wouldn’t be able to afford both trips. He didn’t know how to decide which trip to take, and he dreaded breaking the news to one of the parties

“I got to the point where I was like, ‘maybe I can do both if I really buckle down and get serious about saving and just see how much money I can put away,’” he says.

He set a goal. If he could save $ 1,500 in about a year, he could comfortably afford to take both trips.

Using Acorns in conjunction with a savings account, Kolodziej easily met his goal. At the time of the trips, his Acorns savings covered nearly half of the $ 1,500 total costs — which meant he didn’t have to choose one vacation over the other.

Continuing the habit, he’s saved a total of $ 2,087 with the app since downloading it in July 2016.

Saving $ 2,000 Was Effortless With Acorns

Backing up real quick, Acorns is a microinvesting app. It allows consumers to invest small amounts of money into exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which is basically a grouping of stocks with something in common.

Acorns offers a round-up feature, which appealed to Kolodziej. When selected, purchases made on his connected debit or credit cards would be rounded up. Once the digital change added up to $ 5, it’d be deposited into his Acorns account and invested.

“So many people use plastic and debit cards,” he explains. “Not a lot of people carry cash, where you can have a coin jar at home. It’s a virtual coin jar. You don’t even think about it.”

In the 20 months since downloading the app, Kolodziej has saved $ 1,076 in spare change through round-ups.

He also made an effort to deposit $ 10 into his Acorns account each Thursday. If he worked overtime, he’d boost his account with $ 20 using the one-time feature.

Acorns isn’t just a way to save, though. Kolodziej is investing his money, too. Because he was investing small amounts into ETFs, the return wasn’t huge. He’s earned about $ 46 since opening his account. However, he counts that as free money — money he otherwise wouldn’t have made.

He also referred his friends and family members to the app, which earned him another $ 40 in bonuses, $ 5 for each.

“Saving can be overwhelming,” Kolodziej says. “[Acorns] is just all set up for you. You don’t have to do anything.”

Jeremy compares the Acorns app to a virtual coin jar, conveniently in his pocket. Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Acorns’ Downsides (at Least for Some People)

When asked about Acorns’ cons, Kolodziej paused to think. He personally hasn’t found any downsides, but he notes the $ 1-per-month fee that some people have a problem with.

For him, $ 1 per month is nothing when put into perspective. The app has helped him save money, take two vacations he thought he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford — and has even earned him money.

He did the math: He’s earned $ 46 in returns and $ 40 in referral bonuses. Over 20 months, he’s paid Acorns $ 20. He’s still made $ 66. Plus, he’s saved more than $ 2,000.

Another downside that hasn’t affected him but that his friends have noted is the potential to overdraft.

When you make a purchase of $ 5.10, for example, 90 cents isn’t just automatically dumped into your Acorns account. You have to build up to $ 5 in round ups first. If your checking account frequently runs low, you risk overdrafting because you never know when the change will add up to $ 5 and trigger a withdrawal. Then you might be stuck paying something like a $ 30 overdraft fee.

You also can’t immediately withdraw your money. Like all things banking, the transaction takes a few days to complete. For Kolodziej, this acts as a safety net.

“I see it as an accountability thing, because you can’t have an impulse weekend and just take money out of your Acorns account,” he says. “It won’t be there. You won’t get it in time.”

The Acorns of His Labor… (Get it?)

Jeremy is excited to keep on track with his Acorns savings and hopes to meet this year’s goals. Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

With the help of Acorns, Kolodziej was able to go on both vacations.

The first one was the cruise. He road tripped down to Port Canaveral, Florida, with his friends and boarded the ship. They spent four nights aboard and had two stops in the Bahamas.

Even now, nearly a year later, he still gets excited talking about the getaway. “It was like a dream,” he says. “Being out on the ocean in beautiful Caribbean weather with some of your best friends — and a 15-drinks-a-day alcohol package… just so much fun.”

After the cruise, they road-tripped back to Illinois, stopping in Atlanta and Nashville along the way.

“It’s pretty cool that money I spend driving down to Florida and stopping in Atlanta and Nashville on the way back ended up going into my Acorns account for the family reunion I was taking just a week later,” he explains.

The reunion took place in Sevierville, Tennessee, where 30 of his family members (he has a lot of cousins) stayed at a cabin in the mountains. There, they zip-lined, explored caves, drank Tennessee whiskey and bounded down hills in zorb balls, which are basically giant hamster balls for humans.

“Everyone at the family reunion was asking me how I went on a cruise one week and then I was there [in Tennessee] the next, so I told them about Acorns,” he says.

Acorns actually helped him exceed his savings goal for the trips by $ 150. He used that money at the Lodge Cast Iron store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Cooking is one of his favorite hobbies.

Since last summer’s trips, Kolodziej has continued to save money using Acorns.

In December, he once again emptied his account — this time to pay for Christmas presents. Three months later, in March, he’s back up to a $ 500 balance in the app.

Now that Kolodziej has implemented strategies that help him save, his next conquest is to tackle his debt.

“I’m definitely on the right track,” he shares.

When we chatted on the phone in mid-March, Kolodziej was in his car, headed home from work. He’d just graduated from meter-reading, an apprenticeship, and he’ll now be working as a helper at a substation — a big promotion.

“They’ve already got me working overtime tomorrow,” he says. “No time to celebrate.”

In the meantime, Acorns will keep rounding up the change on his purchases. Maybe he can’t celebrate now, but he’ll eventually have enough money saved to take another cruise with his buddies in July.

man against a wall
Jeremy lives in a small town outside of Chicago and finds it to be just the right fit. Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

If you’re feeling like you need to take a cruise, sign up for Acorns and pocket a $ 5 bonus when you invest your first $ 5.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She could use a cruise right about now…

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Gupta to Jeff Sessions: Medical marijuana will save many addicted to opioids

Research suggests that if safe and regulated medicinal marijuana were made available nationally, up to 10,000 lives could be saved every year.


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You Could Save Money by Ditching These Disposables and Buying Reusables


Saving the planet doesn’t always come cheap.

Many of the disposable products we often use and love are easy to access at low prices, making them preferred over their reusable counterparts.

But the convenience of disposable products often comes at a steep cost to the environment. Plastic bags and straws pollute the ocean and end up being ingested by sea animals. Disposable diapers take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.

Buying reusable products may cost more up front, but you may be surprised to find out how soon they end up paying for themselves since you can use them again and again instead of buying more of the disposable versions.

We took five household products and compared the costs of the reusable versions to the disposable versions. The prices were sourced from Amazon on April 6, 2018.

Straws

A reusable straw costing $ 1.19 each is equal to the cost of about 30 disposable straws at 4 cents each. After 30 uses, the reusable straw has essentially paid for itself.

Water Bottles

One reusable water bottle costing $ 13.88 is equal to the cost of about 63 single-use water bottles at 22 cents each. After 63 uses, the reusable water bottle has essentially paid for itself.

Diapers

One cloth diaper costing $ 4.50 is equal to the cost of about 16 disposable diapers at 28 cents each. The cloth diaper has essentially paid for itself after 16 diaper changes.

Sandwich Bags

One reusable sandwich bag at $ 5.75 each is equal to the cost of about 192 plastic sandwich bags at 3 cents each. After 192 uses, the reusable sandwich bag has essentially paid for itself.

Paper Towels

One cloth kitchen towel costing $ 1.33 is only slightly more than the cost of one roll of paper towels at a cost of $ 1.10 per roll.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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In ‘God Save Texas,’ Lawrence Wright Explores the Love-Hate Relationship With the Lone Star State

Jacob_09

In 1979, 14 years after fleeing Texas as a teenager, journalist Lawrence Wright found himself on assignment in the Lone Star State in a little town called Gruene, his stomach full of a three-inch rare steak.

George Strait was opening for a swing band at legendary music venue Gruene Hall, when Wright—who lived in Atlanta at the time—finally felt the push to move back to his home state.

“Dancers were two-stepping; the boys had longnecks in the rear pockets of their jeans and the girls wore aerodynamic skirts,” Wright chronicles in his new book about his Lone Star home land, God Save Texas.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Battle to save Africa’s elephants is gaining some ground

MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK, Tanzania (AP) — The elephant staggered and keeled over in the tall grass in southern Tanzania, where some of the world’s worst poaching has happened.
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Trump’s Next Top Diplomat Can’t Save His Own Face

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Most diplomats, when their old positions put their objectives at risk, look for opportunities to de-escalate conflict. Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, didn’t take the off-ramps that senators repeatedly offered him on Thursday.

Pompeo was never going to have an easy confirmation hearing. As a tea-party congressman before joining the administration, he had made bigoted statements about American Muslims. As Trump’s CIA director, Pompeo has used bellicose rhetoric against Iran and North Korea, to the delight of the White House, which has recently taken to purging national-security officials Trump considered out of sync with his impulses.

Bob Corker, the GOP chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Pompeo his colleagues were justified in wondering if his closeness with the president is “based on deferential willingness to go along to get along.” That kicked off five long and often agonizing hours in which Pompeo found himself caught between the president he seeks to please, the politician he used to be, and the senators he needs to convince.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Gas Prices Will Go Up This Summer And Gas Credit Cards Won’t Help You Save

American households already spend between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000 yearly on gas. Come this summer, however, those numbers are expected to increase by another 14%. While you and your family might be counting on gas credit cards to offer some savings, a new survey has found that these credit cards offer much less than promised when compared to general use credit cards.

The new CreditCards.com analysis of 28 widely available gas station cards such as Chevron, Texaco and BP, found that the average gas-station-branded credit card charges an interest rate of 23.61%, which is nearly seven percentage points higher than the national average for all credit cards. These credit cards often offer rewards that can’t match up to a typical general-purpose credit card, Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com senior industry analyst, told Black Enterprise.

Of the 28 gas cards analyzed, 24 of them offer per-gallon discounts at an average of just 5 cents per gallon. According to the American Automobile Association, the national average for a gallon of regular gas is currently $ 2.66, making the return on the deal just shy of 2%. In states like California, where the average price is slightly higher at $ 3.52, a 5-cent discount gets you less than 1.5%.

Twelve of the 28 gas cards analyzed come with a 25-cents-per-gallon introductory offer. The catch is that the discount is only available for a very limited time, usually two to three months.

If you’re planning a big road trip, this is one instance when it might make sense to sign up for a gas rewards credit card,” said Schulz. “But even then, there are restrictions to be aware of–several of the most generous introductory offers are capped around $ 100 of fuel credits. You’re probably still better off with a general cash-back card.”

For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards card, the survey found, gives new cardholders 50,000 miles ($ 500 in travel) after they spend $ 3,000 within three months of opening the account. Cardholders receive 2 miles for every dollar they spend (essentially a 2% return) and there is no annual fee for the first year. Citi Double Cash is another popular general-purpose card that offers 2% cash back on all purchases, although it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, the survey found. The American Express Blue Cash Everyday card gives 2% back on gas with a $ 200 sign-up bonus.

General-purpose cards are also much more likely to offer lucrative sign-up bonuses, Schulz said they found. He said there are many different general-purpose credit cards that offer 2% rebates in the form of cash-back and travel rewards. These typically charge much lower interest rates and provide cardholders with far greater flexibility, he said.

“Most folks would benefit from a general purpose card more so than the typical gas station card and the rewards over the long run will end up being lucrative,” Schulz said.

Here’s what else the survey found about gas cards:

  • You don’t want to carry a balance. The average APR for the cards that were surveyed is 23.61%, well above the national average for general purpose cards (16.62%, per the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report). Nine of the cards in our survey had APRs of 28.24%.
  • Most are only good at one kind of gas station. Only 11 cards were co-branded with payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard, meaning they can be used almost anywhere. Gas cards that are not co-branded can only be used at their respective stations.
  • Some cash back cards don’t measure up to them. General purpose cards that offer 1.5% cash back on all spending save you slightly less than 5-cents-per-gallon gas cards at the current average gas price. But drivers who live in expensive-gas states such as California ($ 3.52 per gallon) can save more with 1.5% cash back cards.
  • Many of them have introductory offers. Twelve of the cards in the survey advertised introductory offers, typically featuring increased per-gallon discounts and rebates.

The post Gas Prices Will Go Up This Summer And Gas Credit Cards Won’t Help You Save appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Save more than $1,000 on a lifetime subscription to Slidebean Premium — PowerPoint who?

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You Could Save a Life if You Carry Naloxone. Here’s What You Need to Know


Fueled by the growing national opioid crisis, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams issued a formal advisory this week urging people to consider carrying the opioid antidote naloxone.

What is Naloxone?

People in the throes of an opioid overdose often have dangerously shallow breathing or stop breathing altogether. Brain damage and death can occur within minutes.

Naloxone, also known by the name brand Narcan, temporarily reverses the effects of opioids and restores normal breathing patterns.

Naloxone is packaged as an injectable (primarily for use in hospital environments) and as a prefilled auto-injection device similar to EpiPens used to treat people with severe allergies.

Naloxone is also available as a nasal spray.

What To Know About Naloxone

Unless you’re a medical professional, it may seem intimidating to administer naloxone to someone during an opioid emergency.

But swift action with the antidote can mean the difference between life and death, so keep these things in mind.

  • Naloxone works. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “From 1996 to 2014, at least 26,500 opioid overdoses in the U.S. were reversed by laypersons using naloxone.”
  • If you’re worried you won’t know when to use naloxone in an emergency, know that administering the drug to someone who isn’t overdosing on opioids is will not cause significant harm, according to the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy.
  • 40 states and the District of Columbia have Good Samaritan or 911 drug immunity laws that protect people who intervene during a opioid overdose.
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures says the laws protect people from “arrest, charge or prosecution for certain controlled substance possession and paraphernalia offenses when a person who is either experiencing an opiate-related overdose or observing one calls 911 for assistance or seeks medical attention.”

Where to Find Free or Low-Cost Naloxone

Naloxone is a prescription drug, but it is widely available throughout the U.S. even without a prescription.

  • Learn where to find naloxone near you by typing “[your state] naloxone” into your favorite search engine.
  • Contact your insurance provider to find out whether naloxone is covered under your plan.
  • Medicaid and Medicare will pay for naloxone, but coverage varies by state.
  • Check with your local community health clinic to find out where to get naloxone in your area.
  • People with commercial insurance in Arizona, California, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada and Ohio can get naloxone for free through drug manufacturer Kaleo’s pilot distribution program.
  • CVS Pharmacy dispenses naloxone without a written prescription in 46 states.
  • Prescription and nonprescription naloxone is available at Walgreens pharmacies nationwide

Once you have a supply of naloxone, make sure you learn how to administer it. Contact your local health department if you have any questions.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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11 Beauty Products That’ll Save Your Skin From (Shudder) Recycled Plane Air

Travel — or rather, stale, recycled airplane air — is notorious for doing a number on your skin. It sucks all the good things out of your face, leaving it tight, dry and annoyingly breakout-prone. Still, dreaded plane air is a necessary evil one must face in order to cross great distances — for pleasure, business, familial obligation, etc. — in a timely manner.

On the bright side, these days, the general population is pretty obsessed with skin care. You’ll often see people performing entire hydration-minded skin care routines in-flight without attracting so much as a side-glance from their neighbor. In short, there’s no need to suffer through dryness and dullness for the sake of social decorum, or anything else.

With that in mind, check out the slideshow above for some genius travel beauty tips, plus 11 TSA-approved (aka under-3.4 ounce) skin care products that, when used correctly, will prevent you from touching down looking like a shriveled-up prune. Throw them in a plastic baggie, throw that in your carry-on, arrive looking impossibly dewy and fresh.

And if you’re more of an audio-visual learner, check out beauty blogger Tamira Jarrel’s simple(-ish) in-flight travel routine in the video below.

Bon voyage.

[ Next: 7 Travel Beauty Hacks That Will Change Your Life ]

The post 11 Beauty Products That’ll Save Your Skin From (Shudder) Recycled Plane Air appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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Toy tycoon leads crowdfunding effort to save Toys R Us brand

A budding campaign to buy Toys ‘R’ Us has hit a few bumps in the road, but its billionaire backer said he’s just getting started. Toy tycoon Isaac Larian — founder and chief executive of MGA Entertainment, maker of Little Tikes, Bratz dolls and LOL Surprise — says he was in talks with several major…
Business | New York Post

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How Black Barbershops Save the Lives of African American Men

Barbershops have been the heartbeat of African American communities since black men were legally permitted to own businesses. In addition to providing shape-ups and fades, black barbershops are judgment-free safe havens where boys and men openly engage in conversation, debates, and share personal stories. Hence, this makes the barbershop possibly the best environment to curb health epidemics that disproportionately affect black men.

Dealing with Pressure

According to the American Heart Association, more than 40% of African American men suffer from high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney damage and heart failure. Black men and women also run the risk of developing high blood pressure more often, and at an earlier age, than other races. As a result, they are more susceptible to heart disease and stroke.

“Black men have the highest rates of high blood-pressure-related disability and death of any group in the United States,” said Dr. Ronald Victor of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to NBC News.

Yet, despite the stark reality, black men are less likely to see a doctor due to a deep-seated mistrust of the medical community, lack of healthcare access, and strenuous work schedules. The barbershop, on the other hand, is a place where many frequent several times a month. Here, they often develop trustful relationships with their barbers and feel comfortable opening up about critical issues, like their health.

Getting Treated at ‘The Shop’

Rather than pushing black men to take more trips to a health clinic or physician’s office, Dr. Victor set up an experiment to bring treatment directly to them. For a little over two years, he and his team monitored the blood pressures of 319 men, ages 35 to 71, inside of 52 black-owned barbershops in Los Angeles.

Study participants were divided into separate focus groups. One group received intervention from both their barber and a trained pharmacist stationed at a shop. The second group received advice on healthy living and encouragement from their barber to see a doctor on their own.

The Results?

After six months, nearly two-thirds of men in the first group saw their high blood pressure drop down to a healthy number. The average reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure was 21.6. Whereas almost 12% of those from the other group, which received only standard therapy from their barber, saw their blood pressure decrease to a healthy point.

“On average, men who interacted only with their barber and were referred to their own doctor saw their systolic blood pressure drop from 155 mmHg at the start of the study to 145mm Hg after six months,” reads the report, which was released Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

 

“By contrast, men who interacted with their barber and a pharmacist saw their systolic blood pressure drop from 153 mmHg at the start of the study to 126mm Hg after six months.”

Dr. Victor, the study’s lead author, concluded that having pharmacists deliver care in barbershops was effective in controlling blood pressure levels and saving the lives of black men. “The men came in and got their hair cut and they got their blood pressure cut at the same time,” he told NBC News. “We brought the medicine to them, rather than the usual of having patients come to us.”

The post How Black Barbershops Save the Lives of African American Men appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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‘Rise’ Premiere: Can Lou Save Stanton High Drama or Will it Save Him?

Upon hearing about an opening, Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor), a teacher who wanted to make a difference, stepped in and volunteered, ultimately taking a job that Tracy (Rosie Perez) thought would be hers — she’s been doing it for 11 years. Not only did he take the job, he took over, scrapping her production of Grease and replacing it with a very controversial Spring Awakening. He also took Gwen (Amy Forsyth) out of the lead role, putting her in a supporting role and giving the lead to new face Lilette (Auli’I Cravalho), a student who’s never acted.

As if she needed another reason to hate Lilette, Gwen also discovered that Lilette’s mother was sleeping with her father, the football coach — and may be the reason for their marriage dissipating. For the male lead, Lou found Robbie Thorne (Damon J. Gillespie), a.k.a. QB 1. By “found,” I should say “forced,” as Robbie was failing a class — which meant he’d be ineligible to play. So Lou agreed he’d let him play if he auditioned.

Lilette and Robbie had more in common than met the eye. After school, before football, Robbie took care of his mother, who is sick and living in a facility. Meanwhile, Lilette worked as a diner waitress with her mother, struggling to pay the bills. Everyone on the show had things going on at home, including Lou, whose son Gordy was struggling with an alcohol problem. To make matters at home even more complicated, Lou brought home Maashous (Rarmian Newton), a foster kid he found living in the auditorium.

rise-premiere
Josh Radnor as Lou Mazzuchelli and Ted Sutherland as Simon Saunders on Rise. Peter Kramer/NBC

And then there was Simon (Ted Sutherland), who was used to playing the lead but instead would be playing Hanschen in Spring Awakening, a gay character who shares a kiss with a man on stage. At first, Simon protested, explaining he wasn’t gay but ultimately Lou convinced him he had the acting skills to play the powerful role. However, Simon’s parents were not at all OK with it. It’s likely they also wouldn’t be OK with Michael (Ellie Desautels) joining the show — an openly transgender, extremely talented teen boy.

However, Simon’s parents weren’t the only ones having issues with the content of Spring Awakening. After the principal read the show, he wasn’t OK with the controversial topics either. He replaced it with Pirates of Penzance, stating they couldn’t afford Grease and already had costumes for Pirates, plus Tracy had to take over. Also, he demanded that Robbie played football and did not participate. Luckily for Lou, no one else felt that way.

rise-premiere
Josh Radnor as Lou Mazzuchelli, Ellie Desautels as Michael Hallowell, Auli’i Cravalho as Lilette Suarez, Shannon Purser as Annabelle, Sean Grandillo as Jeremy Middle, Ted Sutherland as Simon Saunders, and Amy Forsyth as Gwen Strickland on Rise. Peter Kramer/NBC

The episode ended with Tracy and the entire troupe — Robbie included — burning the Pirates props and costumes in the parking lot where they delivered a message to both the coach and the principal: they wanted Lou, they wanted Spring Awakening and Robbie wouldn’t be playing football if he couldn’t do the show.

Rise airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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Screening for Colorectal Cancer Can Save Lives

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, yet only two in three adults in the United States is adequately screened. With appropriate screening, however, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Men and women at average risk should begin screening at age 50.

In observance of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we interviewed Karl Kwok, MD, an interventional gastroenterologist at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, about the importance of screening tests and what we can do to lower our risk of cancer.

Why is colorectal cancer screening so important?

Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. However, it’s also one of the most treatable cancers. When colorectal cancer is found at an early stage, the five-year relative survival rate is approximately 90 percent. In fact, regular screenings can help detect advanced polyps, which are precancerous, and allow us to remove them using advanced techniques that do not require surgery. This returns your colon-cancer risk back to baseline.

What methods are used to screen people for colorectal cancer?

Kaiser Permanente, in line with the United States Preventive Services Task Force, encourages its members age 50 and above to either undergo a yearly at-home fecal immunochemical test, also known as a FIT test; an average-risk sigmoidoscopy every five years; or an average-risk colonoscopy every 10 years.

People with a higher risk for colorectal cancer, such as those with a strong family history of colorectal cancer, may need to start routine testing before age 50 and have it more often.

To figure out which screening test is best for you, have a conversation with your primary care provider. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but one thing is certain: Regular colorectal cancer screenings can save lives.

Can colorectal cancer be prevented?

To a large extent, YES! Most cases of colorectal cancer are due to sporadic development of precancerous polyps that do not cause symptoms for a long period of time. This is why screening is critical — the earlier we detect and remove these polyps, the less likely they can grow into an advanced polyp and ultimately turn into cancer. Multiple studies have shown that precancerous colon polyp removal is protective against subsequent development of colon cancer.

What risk factors increase a person’s chance of developing colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer?

Some of the known risk factors for developing colon cancer include:

  • Having a diet heavy in red meats and processed meats
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking and heavy alcohol use
  • Having a family history of colon cancer, especially a first degree relative (mother, father, sibling or child)
  • Having a personal history of colorectal polyps or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (a condition which causes chronic inflammation of the colon)
  • Your racial and ethnic background or your personal health history. For example, African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence. People with a history of kidney transplants and people with type 2 diabetes also have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

To learn more about colorectal cancer and the screening process, visit www.kp.org.

Get Screened!

On Thursday, March 22, all Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Centers will host a colorectal cancer screening day. Be part of this life saving event. Please drop off your completed screening kit (FIT kit) at your nearest Kaiser Permanente medical center. If you haven’t received one, call your doctor or visit your customized online Personalized Action Plan on KP.org and request a FIT kit.

Need help? This video shows a simple step-by-step process to use the home screening kit.

The post Screening for Colorectal Cancer Can Save Lives appeared first on Kaiser Permanente Share.

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NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

The best Amazon Subscribe & Save orders for new parents

by

Joyce Slaton

posted in Products

Amazon Subscribe & Save is truly a godsend for new parents. Without having to think about it, or, God forbid, get your baby and body and soul together to get out to the store, the stuff you need arrives on the regular. So when you’re in the setting-up-for-baby mode, set these things up and you’ll be grateful later.

A few of the finer points of Amazon Subscribe & Save: You’ll save 10 percent more if you schedule five or more deliveries to happen on the same day. You can schedule deliveries to happen monthly, or in intervals up to 6 months. When you order a Subscribe & Save deal, you lock in the price you pay for the item, so whether the price goes up or down, that’s what you’ll be paying (until you cancel the subscription). And there’s no guarantee that the price is the lowest you’ll find out there — but you won’t have to go shopping or do anything other than get boxes from your lobby or front porch, and pay your credit card bills.

 

1. Diapers and wipes

For the love of Pete, get yourself a diaper subscription as soon as possible, because you’re not going to believe how fast your baby flies through them. Each baby has her own rhythm, but 8-10 diapers a day, or even more, are not unexpected in the newborn phase. Do the math and you can see if you’re using disposables, you’ll be going to the store a lot if you don’t create a subscription.

So figure a couple-300 hundred diapers a month at first. Later you’ll pare that number down as you move up in size. Amazon sends you an email a few days before your subscription will ship, so you can change the diaper size in your account, or cancel the box size or brand you get, and add something else instead — you may have to be flexible on what brand you’ll buy to get the best savings, as not every size in every brand is offered at any given time.

On the other hand, your child won’t grow out of wipes, so you won’t have to change the size. You can figure on going through maybe 400 wipes each month for the first couple of months, then scaling down as your child goes through diapers more slowly.

Our pick: Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Diapers Newborn Size, $ 23.06 for 88; Amazon Elements Baby Wipes, Sensitive, $ 11.59 for 480

2. Diaper pail supplies

If you have one of those diaper pails that needs special bags, don’t forget about them, or your house will fill with stink. You might cycle through a multi-pack of diaper bag refills every other month at first before your consumption goes down, so be ready to adjust your order along with diapers.

Our pick: Playtex Diaper Genie Refills for Diaper Genie Diaper Pails, 270 Count, $ 12.82

3. Sustenance

If you’re a coffee drinker, you really need your coffee when you have a baby. Don’t suffer for a moment without it — order as many pounds as you need to get through the month.

Breastfeeding also makes you hungry, as does waking up at odd hours. Don’t forget to order yourself some filling snack food, like cheese, peanut butter, fruit, or energy bars, so even if you’re exhausted, you don’t also have to be hungry.

Our picks: Death Wish Ground Coffee, 16 ounce, $ 18.99; Chocolate Chip CLIF BAR, 12 count $ 9.48

4. Toilet paper

Living without toilet paper will quickly turn you into an animal who will wipe with a cereal box, baby wipes thrown surreptitiously into the diaper pail, or so many other things. Order a great big ol’ box of toilet paper so it won’t happen to you.

Our pick: Seventh Generation Unbleached Toilet Paper, 4 pack of 12-count rolls (48 total rolls), $ 41.70

5. Laundry detergent

Babies make laundry. They’re like little filth guns, shooting out dirty clothing as quickly as you load the barrel with clean clothing. Make sure you order laundry detergent every few months, or you’ll be walking around with spit-up shirts and a grimy baby.

Our pick: Seventh Generation Natural 4X Concentrated Laundry Detergent Free and Clear Unscented, 2-pack of 40-ounce bottles (80 total ounces), $ 24.69

You may also want to consider subscribing to:

* Dish detergent
* Dishwasher detergent
* Trash bags
* Paper towels
* Disposable napkins
* Formula
* Pet food
* Medications
* First aid supplies
* Toothpaste
* Soap
* Shampoo
* Lotion

The post The best Amazon Subscribe & Save orders for new parents appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

BabyCenter Blog

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Can MoviePass Save You Big at the Cinema? A Tough Critic’s Review


Even if you’re no cinephile, you’ve probably heard tell of the famed and slightly mysterious MoviePass, a month-to-month service offering subscribers nigh-unlimited cinema screenings for just $ 9.95 per month.

If that price seems shockingly low, it’s because it is. In August, MoviePass dropped its rates from more than $ 30 — and as much as $ 50 in some markets — to Netflix-level cheapness, a move that raised eyebrows the internet over. In fact, we covered it ourselves.

TPH’s esteemed Lisa Rowan isn’t the only one who’s skeptical. Type “how can moviepass” into Google, and top auto-suggested searches include “make money,” “be so cheap,” and “stay in business.” Puzzlement and speculation about its business model have been published by Forbes, Fortune, MarketWatch and Business Insider. (Spoiler alert: The company plans to leverage your user data for advertising dollars — that is, it tracks your cinematic habits and will sell that valuable info to advertisers.)

But regardless of how MoviePass might turn a profit and whether or not it’ll stay in business long enough to do so, there’s another important question to consider: Is it a service worth subscribing to in the first place?

MoviePass is Cheap, But Is It Worth It?

woman holding credit card
Movie pass offers convenience when heading out the theater. Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder.

I see a lot of movies. In fact, a quick glance at my religiously-tended Mint account shows I spent more than $ 300 on movie theater outings in 2017 — a rather hefty sum, even if it does include concessions, which I usually skip.

For a Penny Hoarder, it seems like a silly expense. Spending $ 10 or more (easily double that, if I cave on my popcorn craving) just to sit in a dark room, usually by myself, and watch a picture? I mean, I’m already getting Netflix for free, and I have a whole refrigerator at home.

But there’s a certain inimitable romance to the theater, from the ugly, kernel-covered carpet to the scent of overpriced, greasy fare. Plus, seeing a movie is a great midday brain break — i.e., procrastination tool — for a freelance writer.

So when the price dropped, and a quick website check revealed that even the two-screen indie theater in my little north Florida burg was participating, I bit. I could theoretically see every movie on the roster for the price of one.

It seemed like a no-brainer. But, of course, not everything is as it seems.

I Tried MoviePass, and Here’s What Happened

I must admit, the service was finicky at first. In fact, I nearly canceled.

Here’s what happened:

I signed up for MoviePass in early December, and a day later received the following email:

“Thanks for subscribing to MoviePass! Your personalized card has been ordered and should arrive in about 5 to 7 business days. Once your card arrives, log in to the MoviePass app and activate your card. You’ll then be ready to check in at the theater and start seeing the movies you want. It’s that simple!”

Sounds great, I thought. Sure enough, a week later, I pulled a bright red card from an unmarked white envelope. I was stoked — I’d been holding off on seeing a film until it arrived, and I hadn’t been to the theater since before my months-long stint in Europe.

So I hopped in the car and headed to the above-mentioned indie theater to go see “The Florida Project.” But when I arrived, the app wouldn’t let me check in. Apparently, card activation is not an instant process, despite the promised simplicity in the ambiguously-worded email.

Unwilling to front the $ 8 to see the film out of pocket (yes, I’m cheap), I climbed back into my car, summarily bummed out. However, that evening I received a response to my customer service query stating my account would activate the following day, which seemed… fairly reasonable.

Two days later, I decided to try the other theater in town — a larger, franchised location — this time for a showing of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

But once again, the app wouldn’t check me in, offering some sort of strange error about my account being “in an incorrect status to create reservations.”

 

At this point, I was upset. Mercifully, the box office lady took pity on me, comping me the ticket when I flashed her my impotent MoviePass. (This was probably thanks in part to the recently-released Star Wars movie, which ensured the theater was in no way hurting for business.)

I sent another query through the in-app customer service contact feature, this one with rather stronger wording. After not receiving a response for several days, I was just about ready to unsubscribe and delete, chalking up the $ 9.95 as a failed experiment. And hey, at least I’d gotten one free movie out of it.

But a couple days later, I decided to give MoviePass one more shot. I’d arrived early for a friend’s destination wedding, and had nothing to do that evening besides pass the time at the shopping center across from my hotel. I opened the app once again and half-heartedly tapped the “Check In” button on a mid-afternoon showing of “Coco.”

Miraculously, it worked.

Here’s How Much I Saved with MoviePass

Once my MoviePass was (finally) in working order, I put it through its paces.

In my first month as a subscriber, I saw the following movies without paying for my ticket. Helpfully, the tickets still print with their would-be prices, which I’ve included next to each in the list.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri:” $ 8.25

“Coco:” $ 14 (!)

“Wonder:” $ 8.25

“The Shape of Water:” $ 8.25

That’s a total of $ 38.75 worth of movie tickets — which means I saved $ 28.80 in only a single month of membership. And that was over the holidays, when I didn’t have as much time as usual to casually meander down to the theater.

As far as user experience is concerned, when MoviePass is working, it’s super simple. You just “check in” to the movie showing you want, and then you have 30 minutes to use the card to buy the ticket at the theater. If you change your mind or run out the timer, no big deal; you can simply choose a different movie or time slot and start the process over.

To note: You can’t use MoviePass to purchase tickets ahead of time, which could be a bummer if you frequent a fancy-pants theater that has assigned seating. Ditto if you’re want to see a much-talked-about film on opening night, for example. It’s totally possible to arrive at the theater and find your showing sold out, which, while it wouldn’t cost you anything, would also be a downer.

I will say that having a MoviePass card in your wallet has a certain psychological effect — it incentivizes movie-going, at least if you’re of a Penny Hoarder mindset. You might see more movies than you normally would in an effort to get your money’s worth, or simply because it’s suddenly effectively free to do so. I’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s a benefit or a drawback.

Bottom line: Once it’s working (and, as Rowan aptly warns, while it lasts), MoviePass is a stellar deal, for even a casual movie-goer.

close up look at a movie pass card
Movie Pass is a  personalized card that will arrive in  5 to 7 days. Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Just don’t count on award-winning customer service — though at prices this low, I guess the company has to cut some corners.

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) has written for VinePair, SELF, Ms. Magazine, Yahoo Wellness, Roads & Kingdoms, Barclaycard’s Travel Blog and other outlets. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel and frugality

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The complicated path for new ESPN president to save ESPN

In being named the new president of ESPN, Jimmy Pitaro will be asked to thread a very fine needle in trying to retain the network’s self-proclaimed title as the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Pitaro will try to sustain ESPN’s place as a huge revenue driver for Disney in spite of the cable and sports industries’…
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If you’re looking to improve your Instagram game, then you might be in luck. Amazon is running a lightning deal on the DBPOWER EX7000 PRO 4K Action Camera to help you out.

For less than $ 70, you can pick up this 4K camera that boasts image stabilization. The touchscreen controls add a little extra depth of control, and it’s even waterproof up to 98 feet so you can capture some unique underwater shots. Use the built-in Wi-Fi to upload and share your content instantly. Read more…

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Save Some Dough With This Pizza Recipe That Costs Less Than $1/Serving


Please don’t misunderstand me, here.

I enjoy pizza as much as every other millennial out there. What I don’t love, though? Paying $ 14 — not including taxes or delivery — for a large cheese pizza from a generic chain that may or may not rhyme with Papa Yawns.

If I want to splurge for pepperoni? Add another $ 2. Throw some veggies on that pie, and well, the amount of dough just keeps rising. (Pun 100% intended.)

That’s why lately, I’ve started making my own pizza. It takes less time than waiting on delivery, proves to be more personalizable, retains less grease and is a heck of a lot cheaper.

But I don’t make just any pizza… I make special pizza rolls that only cost about 92 cents per serving.

Save Money on This Easier Homemade Pizza Recipe

Before I share with you my secret recipe (OK, it’s not really a secret), let me share a few ways you can save even more money on the ingredients:

1. Pillsbury: Print Coupons

Because I signed up for Pillsbury’s daily emails, I get inspiration from tons of other awesome recipes, as well as up to $ 250 in coupons per year.

Bam. Right to my inbox.

2. Drop: Save Money Automatically

I like the Drop app because I don’t have to think about it.

I don’t have to check off specific items, take photos of my receipt or scan barcodes.

Rather, the rewards app lets me choose my five favorite brands (out of dozens of options). Then I’ll automatically earn points each time I spend money at the retailer through my connected debit or credit card.

Participating grocery stores include Costco, H-E-B, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Whole Foods.

Download the app, link your go-to credit or debit cards, then earn points automatically. At Trader Joe’s, for example, you’ll earn 12 points per $ 1 spent. Once you hit 5,000 points, you can cash out for gift cards (for example, 5,000 points gets you a $ 5 Starbucks gift card).

3. Shopkick: Save Money Without Spending

The Shopkick app is unique in that you don’t have to spend a single cent to earn “kicks,” or points you can exchange for gift cards to your favorite retailers. You can simply walk through the doors of CVS, Publix, Target, Walmart or any other participating retailer to bank kicks.

If you want to earn more, scan the barcodes of specific items. Again, no need to buy ’em.

We talked to one guy who’s earned more than $ 400 in gift cards through Shopkick.

Get kickin’.

My Secret Homemade Pizza Recipe — Less Than $ 1/Serving

Even if you don’t apply these savings, the ingredients, listed below, will still ring up at just 92 cents a serving.

Personalizable Crescent Pizza Rolls

[insert pizza roll photo]

Ready?!

Ingredients

  • 1 tube Pillsbury Crescents dinner rolls
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • Shredded cheese (any variety, as much or as little as you’d like)
  • Any toppings, including pepperoni, sausage, ham, pineapple, peppers, black olives — or all of the above… or none of the above, if you’re picky…

Total, excluding toppings: $ 7.37

Servings: 8

Cost per serving: 92 cents

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Pop the tube of dough, and separate the individual triangles. You’ll want to pat these out a little — more surface area means more room for fillings.

Place your desired cheese and toppings on the short end of the triangle. Don’t get too crazy here, as you’ll end up with a mess and a half. Also, leave the sauce out. Trust me when I say it gets really messy when you try to add that, so simply use it as a dipping sauce later.

Roll the crescents up, starting from the shortest side of the triangle. Set the rolls on your cookie sheet point side down, then bake for 10 to 14 minutes.

Once you’re ready to eat, pour some tomato sauce for dippin’. Enjoy!

Time to Come out of That Food Coma Now…

See? Homemade pizza is just as easy as takeout — at a fraction of the cost.

Plus, the whole personalizable option is perfect for families full of picky kids (or a picky spouse).

If you’re into the crescents, we’ve got more where that came from. Here are five more crescent roll recipes — all under $ 2 per serving.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Admittedly, she’s not the best cook, but these were a pizza cake… or should she say… pie. (Sorry, she’s also cheesy.) (OK, seriously. She’s done now.)

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Michigan Auto Executive Uses His Jeep to Save Two People Trapped by Burning Car

A quick-thinking auto executive plowed his jeep into a burning SUV to free passengers stuck in another vehicle in a horrific scene caused by a drunk driver that left one person dead.

Ralph Gilles, the head of design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was driving with his wife, Doris, when he came across a two-car accident in Addison Township, Michigan, during the early morning hours on February 18. Just before Gilles arrived, a 2013 Ford Fiesta collided head-on with a 2013 Ford Edge SUV that crossed the road’s center line, according to the Oxford Leader.

When the couple came across the accident, Gilles got out of his Jeep Wrangler to help the two occupants stuck inside the SUV. As much as they tried to pry the doors open, they wouldn’t budge.

As the vehicles remained on the road, a Buick sedan—driven by a 26-year-old driver—struck the Fiesta and pushed it into the SUV, causing its engine to ignite. While the driver of the Edge escaped, the driver and passenger of the Fiesta remained trapped with the flames rising. Gilles surmised that if they were going to find a way out for the passengers, they were going to have to do it quickly.

“I figured the fire department would take a while to get there . . . at that time of day,” Gilles told the newspaper. “I had to do something fast.”

He returned to his Jeep Wrangler, put it into four-wheel drive and used it to push the burning Edge away from the passengers.

“I still have no idea where that (thought) came from,” he told the Oxford Leader. “The only thing I can remember thinking (is) I’ve got a Jeep, it’s got a bumper on it, I think I can do this. All I could think about were the two people still inside the other car.”

Thanks to Gilles removing the SUV away from the vehicle, he gave firefighters enough time to arrive and retrieve both of the passengers—who were husband and wife—from the trapped Fiesta.

Gilles said he was fortunate he didn’t grab his other car that morning—a Dodge Charger—because it wouldn’t have been able to muster the traction needed to push another vehicle from the road.

While the husband from the Fiesta is listed as being in stable condition at McLaren Oakland hospital, his 57-year-old wife died of her injuries hours later.

The driver of the Ford Edge—who caused the initial accident—was a 36-year-old man who admitted to drinking while at the scene, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

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About a week after the accident, Gilles responded on social media to all those who have sent him praise for his actions on that Sunday morning. But the auto executive was quick to point out that he didn’t consider himself a hero.

“Just saw all the kind words about last weekends sad events. I am no hero just was there at a critical time,” he wrote. “Thank you all for the kind words. Respect to all the true daily heroes our first responders!”


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This Study Says Maintaining a Home Costs $2,000/Year. Here’s How to Save


I’ve been a renter my entire adult life, but lately I’ve been itching to buy my first home.

When I bring the topic up with fellow renting friends, I’m always hit with the same argument.

If you’re renting and something goes wrong, you can just call your landlord to fix it.

Though all renters aren’t immune to home maintenance costs, homeowners particularly feel the pain.

Bankrate recently did a survey on home service costs. It found the average homeowner spends about $ 2,000 a year on home maintenance costs.

While some home service charges are pretty essential (like paying for trash and recycling collection at an average of $ 55 a month), others are more of an added convenience. Homeowners spend an average of $ 285 a month on housekeeping services and $ 144 a month on landscaping service, according to Bankrate.

Paying someone to do services you could do on your own might make you happier, but if that’s not in your budget, don’t sweat.

Reduce Your Home-Maintenance Costs

Instead of dropping hundreds a month on maid service, tackle the tasks yourself.

Don’t splurge on tons of cleaning products. Make your own with simple ingredients, or get creative with items you may have around the house. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with denture cleanser and dryer sheets.

Make your kitchen shine with this step-by-step guide to cleaning kitchen appliances. See this post for other house-cleaning hacks.

Save on landscaping costs with these tips to maintaining your yard on a budget. Or just turn your yard into an edible garden, and you won’t have to pay someone to mow it.

Lacking handyman skills? This post shares resources that’ll help you learn DIY home-repair skills at no cost — like free workshops hosted by Home Depot.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Even if you’re cutting costs by doing home projects on your own, you may still encounter situations that require paying for a professional.

Kevin Mahoney, CEO of financial advice firm Illumint, told Bankrate he recommends homeowners put money into a savings account to use for home maintenance expenses. Mahoney said he sets aside $ 100 to $ 200 a month to fund unexpected repairs or wear-and-tear maintenance services.

That way when something comes up, the money is already available to cover it. Smart advice.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Slain football coach ran ‘toward danger’ to save students in shooting: Sheriff

Victim Aaron Feis “was one of the greatest people I knew,” the sheriff said.
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Samsung’s screen-carrying drone will save you from ever holding your phone

Samsung Display Drone

Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to control a drone with your eyes or voice? Samsung, apparently, is considering the creation of such flying devices, which would be able to interpret your gestures, but also eye movements, and voice commands.

It may be a while until we see such devices in stores if that ever happens. A more grim possibility for the technology is advertising, the kind of ad experiences that follows you around in stores or on the street. What’s certain is that Samsung is studying pairing displays with drone technology.

Continue reading…

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  1. It’s crazy how much better the Fire TV Stick and Roku Stick are with this simple $ 20 accessory
  2. A mattress topper that basically turns any bed into a cloud is Amazon’s deal of the day

Trending Right Now:

  1. Dog food recall: Here are all the brands and products being withdrawn
  2. Washington DC has given Elon Musk a permit for his Hyperloop
  3. Latest leak may have uncovered the Galaxy S9’s most exciting secret

Samsung’s screen-carrying drone will save you from ever holding your phone originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 19 Feb 2018 at 23:00:11 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Why Playing Hard to Get Online Can Save You Some Heartache (And Money)


Just when you thought dating couldn’t be any more annoying.

Online dating scammers have taken nearly $ 1 billion from unsuspecting lonely hearts in the last three years, and they’re coming for more, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Reports to the FBI about online-dating scams have tripled in the last five years.

You can probably delete that half-true comment about guacamole now.

I know what you’re thinking; online dating is expensive enough, and now we have to worry about being scammed?

Don’t move to a convent just yet. There are ways to spot a romance scam and even get your money back if it happens to you.

How to Spot Online-Dating Scams

You’re first red flag is if they can’t meet you in person.

If someone says they’re abroad and can’t meet, you should tread carefully. If they continually make excuses about why they can’t meet, it’s best to move on.

Scammers will use excuses like memberships that are about to end to get your phone number or email address so they can communicate free from scam monitors. While even the best dating sites can miss scammers, they still have systems in place to block suspicious behavior, so don’t be fooled.

That’s how one woman lost over $ 50,000 in an online-dating scam. The 2.5-month relationship included over 10,000 text messages, 400 phone calls and zero first dates.

Do a Google image search for their profile pictures to see if they’ve been used anywhere else. Scammers will post well-groomed pictures with nice things in nice places. It makes you think they’re wealthy, so when they ask you for money, you trust they’ll pay you back.

If their speech reads like a bad Google translate, then it probably is a bad Google translate. And a sudden emergency is always a telltale sign of a scammer. Even if they don’t ask for money, scammers have guilted victims into giving to not-so-worthy causes.

What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed

First, don’t be embarrassed.

In 2017, there were 28,000 complaints filed to the Federal Trade Commission regarding online-dating scams.

If you’ve given your banking information to anyone you believe may be a scammer, call your credit card company or bank and file a fraud victim statement with the three credit bureaus.

If you received any attachments from the scammer, update your computer’s anti-malware software and do a virus scan.

Money-transferring services are making every effort to protect victims of fraud. The BBB recommends reporting scams from as far back as 2004 to the FTC.

If you sent money through Western Union, you don’t even need the receipt. Just the date, amount and where it was sent will suffice. You may not get all your money back, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Jen Smith is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder and gives money saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Surging inflation will save the dollar as the Fed ramps up rate hikes, wealth manager says

After years of moribund price increases, inflation is back and it is set to alter monetary policy, an investment manager told CNBC Friday.
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PocketSmith is an app that can teach you how to understand your finances and save money

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Everyone’s money saving habits are different. (We’re looking at you, millennials.

Whether you rely on the help of an app, use an Excel spreadsheet, or balance your books the classic pencil and paper way, managing your cash flow is one of the most important ways to keep track of your spending habits. 

If you’re looking for some help that feels customized, without the pressure of working with a real-life financial advisor, a subscription to PocketSmith could be a good option.  Read more…

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Marathoners Can Save Big With These Running Gel and Energy Ball Recipes

Training for and running long-distance races isn’t just exhausting — it can also be expensive.

Aside from race fees and running gear, you have to consider the cost of fuel. Splurging on gels, chews and electrolyte powder from a running or fitness store can put a real strain on your wallet.

To give you an idea of how much I spent on fuel while training for my last marathon, I did some math — something I try to do as infrequently as possible — and I was shocked by the numbers.

My fuel of choice was Huma Chia Energy Gel. If you buy it directly from the website, you’d pay $ 56 for a box of 24 gels, which works out to about $ 2.33 per gel.

In addition to the Huma, I also added Tailwind Caffeinated Endurance Fuel to my water. A bag of Tailwind costs $ 38.99 on the manufacturer’s site. That bag is good for 50 servings, which comes out to 78 cents per serving.

On a 20-mile run, I typically had about three servings of Tailwind and three of the Huma Chia Energy Gels. That meant I was spending around $ 9.33 to fuel a 20-mile run.

Once I realized how much I was spending on pre-made fuel, I decided to look into making my own versions to take on the run. The following recipes helped fuel me on runs longer than 10 miles and cost a fraction of the price.

Date Energy Balls

Date Energy Balls, approximately 15 medjool dates and ¾ cup of sunflower seeds into a food processor and pulse until everything looks gooey and delicious

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

There are literally hundreds of recipes online for date energy balls. Whether you like coconut, chocolate chips or peanut butter, chances are you’ll find a recipe you love. I’ve tried a few of them, but for running, I’ve found keeping it simple is best.

For my date energy balls, I throw approximately 15 medjool dates and ¾ cup of sunflower seeds into a food processor and pulse until everything looks gooey and delicious.

I roll the mixture into small balls and place them on a tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then freeze them. Once frozen, I pop them in a zip-top bag and throw them back in the freezer.

I’ll often eat these as a snack before an early morning weekday run or take a few with me on a longer run to keep my energy levels up. You can eat them frozen, but if you prefer them slightly thawed, take them out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you plan to eat them.

Date Energy Balls, approximately 15 medjool dates and ¾ cup of sunflower seeds into a food processor and pulse until everything looks gooey and delicious going into freezer

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Chia Energy Gel

Chia Energy Gel, fruit and chia seeds

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Making your own chia energy gel is much easier than you’d imagine. Simply soak some chia seeds in water to plump them up, and then drain and mix them with pureed fruit.

I like to use strawberry and banana, but you could also add sweet potato or canned pumpkin if you’re looking to sneak in some veggies. I find the fruit to be sweet enough on its own, but you could always add honey or maple syrup to enhance the flavor.

If you need extra electrolytes, No Meat Athlete recommends adding ¼ teaspoon of salt substitute and ⅛ teaspoon of baking soda to your gel to help replenish the minerals you sweat out on a tough run. He also has a full recipe for energy gel if you want a thicker version that’s more like the store-bought stuff, though I personally like the simplicity of pureed fruit and chia seeds.

Make your gel the night before your long run and store it in the fridge. In the morning, pour it into a sturdy zip-top bag or a baby-food pouch and head out on your run. Aim to ingest about 1 ½ ounces for every 30 to 45 minutes of exercise — I use these 5-ounce pouches and one typically lasts me through a 12- to 15-mile run.

Ready-Made Options

If you don’t have the time or desire to make your own energy balls or gel, there are plenty of fueling options available at your local grocery store.

Raisins or other dried fruit can be an excellent mid-run fuel, according to Greatist. If you have a sweet tooth and need something with less fiber, try eating some gummy bears or marshmallows during your run to replenish your energy.

And if you’re training for an ultramarathon, take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich along with you on your run to keep your tummy from rumbling.

Proper Fueling

Chia Energy Gel, fruit and chia seeds

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

No matter what you choose as your long-run fuel, make sure you’re fueling early and often. Runner’s World recommends you start fueling 30 minutes into a long run and repeat it every 30 to 60 minutes.

Depending on your body, you might prefer taking in small bits of fuel every 15 to 20 minutes or larger amounts every 60 to 75 minutes.

The amount of fuel you need on a run largely depends on your body. This is something you need to practice time and time again while training to make sure you get it right on race day.

The last thing you want to deal with on race day is an upset stomach (picture the port-a-potties along a race course), so it’s vital you stick to the nutrition plan you used during training since that’s what your body is used to.

Training for and running a long-distance race can be exhausting and expensive — but if you train and fuel your body the right way, it’ll be worth all the hard work.

Catherine Hiles is a half-marathon junkie whose proudest moment is running 13.1 miles with her daughter in a stroller. She plans on running a 50K one day when she’s not so tired all the time.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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This Stunning Diamond Alternative Can Save You 90% on an Engagement Ring

Love and marriage, love and marriage. They can come with a price you can’t quite manage.

We’re in the month of love, when couples start thinking about, you know, marriage. As cliche as it sounds, Valentine’s Day is still one of the most popular days for proposals –– it’s second only to Christmas Day, according to WeddingWire.

So, if getting engaged is in your plans this Valentine’s Day — but you and your sweetheart don’t have thousands of dollars sitting in your savings accounts with nothing to do — here’s a brilliant alternative to a diamond ring: a moissanite engagement ring.

Wait, moissa-what? Yeah, that’s what I said, too.

What Is a Moissanite Engagement Ring?

Moissanite engagement ring

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

It was a beautiful morning here at The Penny Hoarder headquarters. The sunlight was filtering in through the kitchen windows, casting rays that beautifully reflected off that seriously sparkly thing on senior product manager Brooke Harris’ finger!

As a few of us gathered around Harris to get a closer look, she shared a secret:

“This isn’t a diamond,” she told us. She went on to explain the history behind the gem, the cost compared with a diamond ring and just how happy she is that her husband-to-be picked it out for her.

Her smile sparkled as brightly as her ring, and we knew we had to tell our fellow Penny Hoarders.

The History of Moissanite

About 50,000 years ago, a meteorite crashed into Earth near present-day Winslow, Arizona, leaving a crater more than 2 miles wide and 550 feet deep. That’s where French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan discovered crystals resembling diamonds in 1893. He later determined the crystals were made of silicon carbide. The naturally occurring form of silicon carbide was later named moissanite, in his honor.

Because natural moissanite is extremely rare, there were several attempts to re-create it –– none of which were successful until about a century after its discovery.

By 1995, the gem finally made its way into the jewelry world when Charles & Colvard saw potential for a new diamond alternative. Charles & Colvard remained the exclusive manufacturer of the gem until its patent expired in 2016, opening the door for other manufacturers to enter the market.  

Now, moissanite engagement rings continue to gain popularity and are sold in jewelry stores around the globe.

Moissanite vs. Diamond: How Do They Compare?

Moissanite engagement ring

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Diamonds are among the hardest natural substances on the planet, measuring a 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Moissanite measures a 9.25, not too far from diamonds.

Moissanite engagement ring prices can be as little as 10% of what a diamond engagement ring costs. I compared diamond vs. moissanite engagement ring prices on Overstock.com. This diamond engagement ring is normally priced at $ 3,344, while this similar moissanite engagement ring is normally priced at $ 879.99. That’s $ 2,464.01 (don’t forget the penny) you could save and put toward your wedding or another goal.

When it comes to brilliance, the refractive index of moissanite, which measures how light bends when it passes through the gem, is much greater than a diamond. This is because it contains more fire, which is how light breaks into different colors when refracted from the gem. (Brilliance and fire also depend on how a gem is cut.)

So just how obvious is the difference between the two to the human eye? While some people can spot the difference, others got it completely wrong when The Today Show compared of the two.

Why Choose Moissanite Over Diamond?

Moissanite engagement ring

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

The biggest advantage of moissanite engagement rings over diamond engagement rings is obviously the price. Couples can put those hundreds or thousands of dollars they save toward something else, like planning the wedding. We all know weddings can be expensive enough.

The average cost of a wedding is more than $ 30,000 –– a Disney wedding costs more than $ 75,000 –– and that doesn’t even include the engagement ring or the honeymoon. Some couples even opt for wedding loans to tackle these costs. Even wedding guests can end up spending a pretty penny just to be there for the special day.

So if you’re already thinking about how to stick to your wedding budget, why not start with the engagement ring? Sure, some may scoff at the idea of buying a lab-produced gem for an engagement ring or feel the need to buy a diamond because of social pressures.

But others may find moissanite appealing not just because of the price. Moissanite is created in a lab, so you don’t have to worry about buying a gem that was mined in a conflict zone. That also means moissanite is environmentally friendly.

Harris isn’t the only Penny Hoarder in love with her moissanite engagement ring:

Tina Russell, a photographer at The Penny Hoarder, is also happy with her and her fiance’s choice of a moissanite engagement ring. She said, “We didn’t want to start off our engagement in debt,” she said, “and I didn’t want to own anything that wasn’t ethically sourced.”

Alexa Vincent, photo coordinator, also loves her moissanite ring. “Five years later and it’s still holding up beautifully,” she said.

And don’t forget about the romantic appeal of moissanite. Known as the gem from the stars, moissanite has earned nicknames like “Space Diamond” and “Stardust.” Harris’ future husband has a background in astronomy, so he wanted to give the gem of the stars to the woman he loves. If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is!

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She’s in love with the idea of wearing a gem from the stars.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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How to save money in your travels

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Unfortunately, we’re currently dealing with an illness that has rendered us completely incapable of joy or happiness…yep, it’s the infamous TRAVEL BUG (*cue evil laugh*). While we wish we could have a six-month vacation twice a year, giving into our travel bug just isn’t always possible in today’s day and age. With bills to pay and work to do, much of our spare money is spent on new washing machines, car batteries, or just food to survive. This leaves little room in the wallet for a vacation – or so we thought. Saving for a vacation doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Here are some of the best ways to save money in your travels…

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No matter where you go to search for vacations on the internet, you will always find websites brandishing ‘EPIC DEALS’ that really don’t work in your favor. Instead, you should turn your attention towards independent travel investigators who scour the web for deals and bring them to the attention of the traveler. Many give you the option to sign up for newsletters…what have you got to lose?

Save money in devastated areas

Each year, countries and areas are devastated by natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and even volcanic eruptions! When this happens, most travelers are less likely to travel to these areas that have yet to recover. However, those with the travel bug can save money in these devastated areas, as discounted vacations will be on offer. Although the area may be only partly-recovered, your money will help them rebuild from the ashes.

Give yourself a Google alert

Y’know, Google is one of the best inventions ever, and it seems that this search engine offers users even more options while searching for vacations. In fact, Google gives you the option to create Google Alerts. This means you can input certain searches, for example, ‘cheap flights to Barbados,’ and Google will alert you daily, weekly, monthly, or when they arrive on the search engine.

Get some money back

It’s no secret that vacations can get pretty pricey, especially if you’re going long-haul. However, you don’t always have to fork out a load of money to have the time of your life – at least, not in the long run. Nowadays, the internet is overrun with cashback sites that offer their users cashback incentives. This means that if you book through their site, you may get a percentage of the price back into your bank account. Neat, huh?

Avoid ATM fees

Most of us take cash on our vacations, but if you’re drinking ten pina coladas each day (you’re on vacation, after all), that money may dry up quite quickly. Although we can get cash out of international ATM machines, many of them will charge you to do so. All of these charges can add up and cost you a pretty penny – so why not avoid them? Many banks, such as Citibank, offer packages that waive the ATM fees and save you money in the long run.

There’s nothing better than going on vacation, but finding the money to spend abroad can be tricky…until you make use of these easy steps!

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The post How to save money in your travels appeared first on Worldation.

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Here are the best deals on tax software: Save on TurboTax, H&R Block, and more

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

It’s officially tax return season, folks, and you have until April 17 to get your shit together. However, while W2s should be harbingers for all the extra money you’re about to receive, it always kinda sucks to cash for doing your taxes in the first place.

SEE ALSO: If you’re frustrated with Bitcoin, it’s time to learn how to invest in some other cryptocurrencies

Software options like TurboTax and H&R Block not only offer multiple levels of personalized tax assistance, but they also currently have some sweet discounts so that you don’t have to fork over a majority of the money you’re about to get back. Read more…

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From Chia Seeds to Kale, These 3 Recipes Save You Big on Trendy Drinks

There are a lot of healthy drink trends out there that cost a little more than I’d like to spend on one drink, let alone a healthy one.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to drink something every day, I figure I might as well save the grocery trip — and the extra few dollars — and learn to make it myself. So here are my three favorite healthy drink trends and how to make them at home.

1. Chia Seed Drink

chia seed drink in a glass

Photo courtesy of Grace Cooper

First up is this raspberry green tea lemonade with chia by Wife Mama Foodie. This two-serving recipe is super easy but requires a bit of planning to prepare the chia seeds. If you’ve had a chia seed drink before, then you know the seeds form a sort of gel in the drink.

To get this gel consistency, you need to soak your seeds in water, preferably overnight. If you’re completely new to the chia seed world, check out what Chia Queen has to say about preparing and storing chia gel.

  • 4 ¼ cups water: free
  • 3 tablespoon chia seeds: 87 cents
  • 2 green tea bags: 22 cents
  • 1 cup raspberries: $ 2.30
  • ½ cup lemon juice: $ 1.12

Total cost: $ 4.51

Servings: 2

Price per serving: $ 2.26
In-store price per serving: $ 3.06

Once you get the hang of prepping the chia seeds, there’s a lot of freedom to mix and match with this recipe. I love the raspberry-and-green-tea pairing, but if you’re not a fan of those flavors feel free to alter the drink to another tea-and-berry combination, like black tea and strawberry.

2. Vegetable Juice

Vegetable juice in a mason jar

Photo courtesy of Grace Cooper

V8 juice is a classic health-food drink and an easy DIY for any vegetable lover. I usually use this recipe as an opportunity to empty my vegetable drawer, so there’s room for variation. And don’t be afraid to look to V8’s ingredient list for inspiration! A few other common ingredients I didn’t list here are carrots, celery, and parsley.

  • ½ cup water: free
  • 1 ¾ cup chopped tomatoes: $ 1.17
  • 1 tablespoon beets, chopped: 5 cents
  • 1 tablespoon kale, chopped: 10 cents
  • 1 tablespoon peppers, chopped: 9 cents
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice: 14 cents

Total cost: $ 1.55

Servings: 2

Price per serving: 78 cents

In-store price per serving: 80 cents

To cook, just throw everything in a pot and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. Blend the mixture on medium speed until the large chunks are gone and it has the consistency of a smoothie. Pour the blended mixture through a strainer to get rid of the remaining pulp. Please note that most recipes call for a food mill, but there’s no need to make the investment, as a blender will get the job done too — unless you really want to buy one.

You may notice something a little odd about the small number of vegetables in the ingredient list. The reason I list a tablespoon for each one besides tomatoes is that V8 juice needs to maintain a 7-to-1 ratio, meaning seven parts tomatoes to and one part everything else. These ratios are a little less awkward when you make bigger batches. If you’re interested, check out what Creative Homemaking has to say about making and canning your own V8!

3. Kale-Banana Protein Smoothie

green drink in a glass

Photo courtesy of Grace Cooper

The protein-shake trend is here to stay, so this simple recipe is a staple. All you have to do is toss everything into a blender for about a minute on medium speed and get ready for breakfast in a glass. This one-serving recipe is on the expensive side, mostly because of the almond butter. If you want to cut down on the cost, or the nutty taste, feel free to use peanut butter instead.

  • 1 cup kale: $ 1.60
  • 1 banana: 19 cents
  • ½ cup almond butter: $ 2.53
  • ½ cup water: free

Total cost: $ 4.32

In-store price: $ 5.29

You can also swap the kale for another green, like spinach, and add an apple or orange if you’re feeling especially adventurous. The best thing about this recipe is it’s high in protein without the gross protein powder, so don’t be afraid to mix it up with more fresh ingredients!

Whether you’re looking for a new drink to try or a new everyday favorite, one of these five recipes is sure to do the trick. They’re easy, cheap and very flexible. Feel free to substitute ingredients or add in others to make the drink you really want at a price that’s easy to swallow..

Grace Cooper is a freelance writer and college student from Washington, D.C. She loves researching new recipes and firmly believes that barbecue sauce tastes good on anything.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Gordon Ramsay Says He Dropped Over 50 Lbs. to Save His Marriage

He says his wife was “not impressed” by his weight gain.

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I Had My Right Eye Removed During Pregnancy to Save My Babies

“I just want to make sure I’m here for a very long time for my children.”

Health – Good Housekeeping

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Anti-Smoking Plan May Kill Cigarettes & Save Big Tobacco

WASHINGTON (AP) — Imagine if cigarettes were no longer addictive and smoking itself became almost obsolete; only a tiny segment of Americans still lit up. That’s the goal of an unprecedented anti-smoking plan being carefully fashioned by U.S. health officials.

But the proposal from the Food and Drug Administration could have another unexpected effect: opening the door for companies to sell a new generation of alternative tobacco products, allowing the industry to survive — even thrive — for generations to come.

The plan puts the FDA at the center of a long-standing debate over so-called “reduced-risk” products, such as e-cigarettes, and whether they should have a role in anti-smoking efforts, which have long focused exclusively on getting smokers to quit.

“This is the single most controversial — and frankly, divisive — issue I’ve seen in my 40 years studying tobacco control policy,” said Kenneth Warner, professor emeritus at University of Michigan’s school of public health.

The FDA plan is two-fold: drastically cut nicotine levels in cigarettes so that they are essentially non-addictive. For those who can’t or won’t quit, allow lower-risk products that deliver nicotine without the deadly effects of traditional cigarettes.

This month the government effort is poised to take off. The FDA is expected to soon begin what will likely be a years-long process to control nicotine in cigarettes. And next week, the agency will hold a public meeting on a closely watched cigarette alternative from Philip Morris International, which, if granted FDA clearance, could launch as early as February.

The product, called iQOS (pronounced EYE-kose), is a penlike device that heats Marlboro-branded tobacco but stops short of burning it, an approach that Philip Morris says reduces exposure to tar and other toxic byproducts of burning cigarettes. This is different from e-cigarettes, which don’t use tobacco at all but instead vaporize liquid usually containing nicotine.

For anti-smoking activists these new products may mean surrendering hopes of a knockout blow to the industry. They say there is no safe tobacco product and the focus should be on getting people to quit. But others are more open to the idea of alternatives to get people away from cigarettes, the deadliest form of tobacco.

Tobacco companies have made claims about “safer” cigarettes since the 1950s, all later proven false. In some cases the introduction of these products, such as filtered and “low tar” cigarettes, propped up cigarette sales and kept millions of Americans smoking. Although the adult smoking rate has fallen to an all-time low of 15 percent, smoking remains the nation’s leading preventable cause of death and illness, responsible for about one in five U.S. deaths.

Anti-smoking groups also point to Big Tobacco’s history of manipulating public opinion and government efforts against smoking: In 2006, a federal judge ruled that Big Tobacco had lied and deceived the American public about the effects of smoking for more than 50 years. The industry defeated a 2010 proposal by the FDA to add graphic warning labels to cigarette packs. And FDA scrutiny of menthol-flavored cigarettes — used disproportionately by young people and minorities — has been bogged down since 2011, due to legal challenges.

“We’re not talking about an industry that is legitimately interested in saving lives here,” said Erika Sward of the American Lung Association.

But some industry observers say this time will be different.

“The environment has changed, the technology has changed, the companies have changed — that is the reality,” said Scott Ballin, a health policy consultant who previously worked for the American Heart Association.

Under a 2009 law, the FDA gained authority to regulate certain parts of the tobacco industry, including nicotine in cigarettes, though it cannot remove the ingredient completely. The same law allows the agency to scientifically review and permit sales of new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Little has happened so far. Last year, the agency said it would delay the deadline for manufacturers to submit their vapor-emitting products for review until 2022.

The FDA says it wants to continue to help people quit by supporting a variety of approaches, including new quit-smoking aids and opening opportunities for a variety of companies, including drugmakers, to help attack the problem. As part of this, the FDA sees an important role for alternative products — but in a world where cigarettes contain such a small amount of nicotine that they become unappealing even to lifelong smokers.

“We still have to provide an opportunity for adults who want to get access to satisfying levels of nicotine,” but without the hazards of burning tobacco, said FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. He estimates the FDA plan could eventually prevent 8 million smoking-related deaths.

“SMOKE-FREE FUTURE”

Philip Morris International and its U.S. partner Altria will try to navigate the first steps of the new regulatory path next week.

At a two-day meeting before the FDA, company scientists will try and convince government experts that iQOS is less-harmful than cigarettes. If successful, iQOS could be advertised by Altria to U.S. consumers as a “reduced-risk” tobacco product, the first ever sanctioned by the FDA.

Because iQOS works with real tobacco the company believes it will be more effective than e-cigarettes in getting smokers to switch.

Philip Morris already sells the product in about 30 countries, including Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom.
iQOS is part of an elaborate corporate makeover for Philip Morris, which last year rebranded its website with the slogan: “Designing a smoke-free future.” The cigarette giant says it has invested over $ 3 billion in iQOS and eventually plans to stop selling cigarettes worldwide — though it resists setting a deadline.

Philip Morris executives say they are offering millions of smokers a better, less-harmful product.

Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids still sees danger. He says FDA must strictly limit marketing of products like iQOS to adult smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit. Otherwise they may be used in combination with cigarettes or even picked up by nonsmokers or young people who might see the new devices as harmless enough to try.

“As a growing percentage of the world makes the decision that smoking is too dangerous and too risky, iQOS provides an alternative to quitting that keeps them in the market,” Myers says.

It’s unclear whether existing alternatives to cigarettes help smokers quit, a claim often made by e-cigarette supporters. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests about 60 percent of adult e-cigarette users also smoke regular cigarettes.

THE CASE FOR LOWER NICOTINE

Experts who study nicotine addiction say the FDA plan is grounded in the latest science.

Several recent studies have shown that when smokers switch to very low-nicotine cigarettes they smoke less and are more likely to try quitting. But they also seek nicotine from other sources, underscoring the need for alternatives. Without new options, smokers would likely seek regular-strength cigarettes on the black market.

Crucial to the FDA proposal is a simple fact: nicotine is highly addictive, but not deadly. It’s the burning tobacco and other substances inhaled through smoking that cause cancer, heart disease and bronchitis.

“It’s hard to imagine that using nicotine and tobacco in a way that isn’t burned, in a non-combustible form, isn’t going to be much safer,” said Eric Donny, an addiction researcher at the University of Pittsburgh.

A study of 800 smokers by Donny and other researchers showed that when nicotine was limited to less than 1 milligram per gram of tobacco, users smoked fewer cigarettes. The study, funded by the FDA, was pivotal to showing that smokers won’t compensate by smoking more if nicotine intake is reduced enough. That was the case with “light” and “low-tar” cigarettes introduced in the 1960s and 1970s, when some smokers actually began smoking more cigarettes per day.

Still, many in the anti-smoking community say larger, longer studies are needed to predict how low-nicotine cigarettes would work in the real world.

LEGAL RISKS

Key to the FDA plan is the assumption that the two actions will happen at the same time: as regulators cut nicotine in conventional cigarettes, manufacturers will provide alternative products.

But that presumes that tobacco companies will willingly part with their flagship product, which remains enormously profitable.
Kenneth Warner, the public policy professor, said he would be “astonished” if industry cooperates on reducing nicotine levels.

“I don’t think they will. I think they will bring out all of their political guns against it and I’m quite certain they will sue to prevent it,” he said.

In that scenario, the FDA plan to make cigarettes less addictive could be stalled in court for years while companies begin launching FDA-sanctioned alternative products. Tobacco critics say that scenario would be the most profitable for industry.

“It’s like Coke, you can have regular Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, we’ll sell you any Coke you like,” said Robin Koval, president of the Truth Initiative, which runs educational anti-tobacco campaigns.

But the FDA’s Gottlieb says the two parts of the plan must go together. “I’m not going to advance this in a piecemeal fashion,” he said.

When pressed about whether industry will sue FDA over mandatory nicotine reductions, tobacco executives for Altria and other companies instead emphasized the long, complicated nature of the regulatory process.

“I’m not going to speculate about what may happen at the end of a multiyear process,” said Jose Murillo, an Altria vice president. “It will be science and evidence-based and we will be engaged at every step of the way.”

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Anti-smoking plan may kill cigarettes–and save Big Tobacco

WASHINGTON (AP) — Imagine if cigarettes were no longer addictive and smoking itself became almost obsolete; only a tiny segment of Americans still lit up. That’s the goal of an unprecedented anti-smoking plan being carefully fashioned by U.S. health officials.
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From Georgia to Grimsby: campaign seeks to save Europe’s neglected heritage sites

An initiative led by Europa Nostra has shortlisted at-risk cultural landmarks and aims protect seven of the most endangered

An aerial cableway in Georgia, a modernist monument in Bulgaria and an ice factory in Grimsby, are among 12 heritage sites that have been shortlisted by a campaign that is highlighting Europe’s most at-risk cultural monuments.

Heritage federation Europa Nostra, which works with Unesco and the EU, lobbies to protect cultural and natural heritage across the continent and represents national and local heritage groups. The shortlist is part of its 7 Most Endangered initiative that will lead to monuments receiving exposure, as well as guidance from Europa Nostra experts about preservation.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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It’s Your Choice: 4 Ways to Save Money by Buying Services a la Carte

A la carte: A menu or list that prices items separately. — Webster’s Dictionary

They say you can have it all.

But what if we don’t want it all?

What if we just want a few awesome things we like, and don’t want to pay for all the other stuff we don’t need?

Why should we pay for hundreds of TV channels we’re not watching, reams of cell phone data we’re not using or car insurance for long-distance road trips we’re not taking?

More and more, savvy consumers are finding ways to buy individual items a la carte instead of paying a lump sum for some kind of big, all-in-one package that doesn’t fit their needs.

In that spirit, here’s the latest information on a la carte services for TV, wireless providers, airline tickets and even auto insurance.

1. Cut the Cord on Your Cable

More and more people are bidding farewell to cable because it’s so expensive. In a recent TiVo survey, nearly half of cable or satellite users were actively planning to get rid of the service in the near future or were at least open to considering it.

About 80% of those who have cut the cord did it because of the price. American households that still have a pay-TV service are paying an average of $ 103 a month for it.

Most viewers in the U.S. and Canada now want a la carte TV service, only paying for the channels they actually watch, the TiVo survey found. (The top five requested channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, Discovery Channel and History.)

TiVo found that 60% of people surveyed didn’t need cable because they were using online streaming services. Over 54% of those had Netflix, 27% used Amazon Prime, and 12% used Hulu.

Each streaming service has its own pros and cons, and if you’re wondering which would be best for you, we’ve got you covered here. You can compare costs, the type of content, the number of available titles and more.

2. Pay By the Mile for Car Insurance

Susan Gibbons doesn’t drive much. She works from home. Sometimes she’ll swing by the supermarket or the doctor’s office, but that’s about it.

And she only pays $ 35 a month for car insurance.

“All my driving is around my neighborhood,” says Gibbons, 55, of Philadelphia. “A few miles here, a few miles there.”

Being such an infrequent driver, she got tired of spending so much on auto insurance. It made no sense for someone like her, who easily drives less than five miles a day, to pay the same rate as someone who drives 50 miles a day.

So she found Metromile, a startup trying to revolutionize the auto insurance industry. It offers low-mileage drivers a unique new option: pay-as-you-go insurance coverage.

She’s the kind of customer Metromile is built for — low-mileage drivers like urban dwellers, retirees and those who work from home. Founded in 2011, the insurer is also betting millennials will be tempted by cheaper, customized car insurance.

Metromile is currently available in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. Next, the company plans to expand into Florida, New York and Texas.

Customers typically pay a flat fee of $ 35 per month, plus 5 cents per mile. Metromile tracks your mileage through a device plugged into your car’s diagnostic port.

Before she switched insurers, Gibbons had been a State Farm customer for 30 years. She figures her car insurance bill has plummeted by $ 720 a year.

3. Strip-Down Your Cell Phone Service

With a wife and two kids to support, Zak Wilson has to stick to a budget. But when it came to cell phones, he could never find the sweet spot — reliable service he could afford.

Wilson was with Verizon Wireless for years, but was frustrated because it cost so much. He was paying around $ 180 a month for cell service for himself and his wife.

“With the data plans, it’s expensive,” says Wilson, a 43-year-old salesman who lives near Portland, Oregon. “I felt like I was paying for double internet — home internet and phone internet.”

That’s when he tried Twigby. It’s a discount wireless carrier making a splash in the competitive world of low-cost, no-contract cell phone service.

It’s an MVNO, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. It buys connection wholesale from the big wireless carriers like Sprint and Verizon, and resells it to customers.

“The cost savings is extreme,” Wilson says. “Now, for both phones, we’re paying maybe 60 bucks.”

4. Believe in the Virtue of Unbundled Airfare

If you buy what’s called a basic economy ticket on American or United Airlines, you’re not allowed to stuff your carry-on into the overhead bins. Those precious bins are off limits!

These days, airlines are increasingly dividing their cabins and charging separately for things that used to be covered by the overall fare, like overhead bin space and Wi-Fi. Some flyers feel like they’re being nickel-and-dimed by this trend. But that’s not how we see it.

We see it as a way to get cheaper plane tickets.

The basic economy fare works much like the fares for low-cost carriers like Allegiant or Spirit. You get a seat, and that’s about it. If you want to bring a carry-on or choose your seat, you’ll pay extra for it.

The benefit? You get to fly in a United or American Airlines cabin instead of in a cramped low-cost carrier’s seat. And you have the option to purchase in-flight food and entertainment that low-cost carriers don’t even offer.

That’s life a la carte, people.

It’s One of the Easiest Ways to Save Money

As consumers, we’re increasingly offered new choices and options when it comes to TV, car insurance, cell phone service or airfare.

When you grab lunch at Chipotle, do you want to pay a dollar extra to add guacamole to your burrito? Or will you skip the guac and save a buck?

It’s up to you, the customer.

It’s the dawn of a new age.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He likes having choices.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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McMaster Rushes to Save the Iran Nuke Deal

Donald Trump’s national security adviser has been working closely with two key senators to prevent Trump from destroying the Iran deal, multiple sources in and outside government tell The Daily Beast.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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12 Great Apps To Save More Money and Jump-Start Your Financial Freedom in 2018

New Year, new you? How about New Year, new ways to save your money? Every start of the year gives us another chance to implement better money-saving habits or to improve upon the ones we’ve already adopted. It’s no surprise that the top resolutions for Americans often include financial-oriented goals.

At the start of 2017, digital marketing company, iQuanti, compiled a list of the most popular resolutions based on Google search terms the year prior. Rounding out the top five was the resolve to “spend less and save more.” In a recent PNC Financial survey of employed U.S. adults, when asked which financial-related resolutions they are most likely to make in 2018, 40% stated save more money each month, 31% said reduce spending each month, and 27% wanted to save more for retirement.

But as quickly as we make them, many of us are also more likely to break financial resolutions due to circumstances or plain lack of discipline. Each year, money-related resolutions make multiple lists of common New Year’s resolutions that people break. But not all hope is lost—there are some worthy financial apps sitting in your smartphone’s app store that can help make your financial resolutions stick or at the very least, provide you with a fresh, empowered way of thinking about your money.

Whether it’s the resolve to save an extra $ 100 a month, put money toward a travel or emergency fund, increase your credit score, or buy into that stock you’ve been eyeing, these money-saving apps can make your 2018 money-saving goals a bit more doable and motivate you to not ditch your financial resolution three months or three weeks in.

Empower

Photo: Empower (Apple iTunes Store)

Featured by Forbes and Time Magazine as among the best apps in finance, Empower helps you build wealth by paying down debt, improving your credit score, canceling unwanted subscriptions, and keeping track of all your finances in one place. The app also tracks your spending patterns and makes customized suggestions catered to your lifestyle. For a more complete overview of your finances, Empower also allows you to sync any investment and borrower accounts.

Acorns

Photo: Acorns (Apple iTunes Store)

This app is a force in the microsavings realm. Simply link your credit and debit card to the app so that it could track your purchases. It rounds those purchases up to the nearest dollar and invests the difference for you into exchange-traded funds. Acorns designs an investment portfolio for you based on the information you provide upon signing up, but there are other portfolios to choose from. It costs $ 1 per month and .25% of the balance once your portfolio hits $ 5,000. It’s free for college students.

Mint

No list of best apps for saving/managing money is complete without Mint. It claims to take the hassle out of budgeting by creating a personalized budget and auto-categorizing your transactions after you sync your bank account. Just link your account to the app and it does the work for you. Mint also sends you alerts when bills are due and notifies you of any unusual charges. It can also tell you how you can reduce money on bills and monthly fees.

Photo: Mint (Apple iTunes Store)

Clarity Money

Is that Planet Fitness membership just languishing month after month while you automatically give away $ 10 that could be used for something else? Then Clarity Money will happily remind you of that. It is a financial ally that helps you cancel wasteful or forgotten subscriptions and alerts you if you are spending more than what you allotted for in your budget. The app also displays how much you’ve spent, keeps track of your monthly income, advises you how to use your credit card responsibly, and tells you the days until your next paycheck. It can also help you discover better credit card deals based on your spending habits and can generate your credit score for free.

Photo: Clarity Money (Apple iTunes Store)

Credit Karma

For those who want to increase their credit score, the popular Credit Karma app is the best free app that allows consumers to see how high or low their score is without getting a hard credit check and causing damage to the current score. You can also monitor your reports and receive alerts when there are fluctuations. The app also allows you to challenge any errors and offers suggestions on how to increase your score.

Photo: Credit Karma (Apple iTunes Store)

Digit

Photo: Digit (Apple iTunes Store)

Digit is great if you’re new to the budgeting game or if you’re not too good at sticking to a money-saving plan. After you sync your checking account, it automatically determines a feasible amount of money that you can afford to save and places that amount into your savings account. The best part is that it comes with a no-overdraft guarantee, so you can carry on without worrying that the app will take more out of your account than you can afford. Each morning you receive a text informing you of your current balance, and with a weekly status report on how much you’ve saved, you can soon be on your way to hitting your financial goals. It’s free for the first 100 days and $ 2.99 a month after.

You Need a Budget

(Image: Google Play)

Investopedia.com calls YNAB the best app for getting out of debt. It allows you to create a budget based on a few ground rules: give every dollar a job, embrace your true expenses, plan for infrequent expenses, roll with the punches if you end up overspending, and learn how to live on last month’s income. In other words, it works with what you have in order for you to attain more and gain control of your finances. If you overspend, it provides you with a snapshot of what you need to do differently to get back on track with the built-in “accountability partner.” After the free 34-day trial, it costs $ 50 a year and also offers online classes with live instructors to help you learn or brush up on the basics and best practices of budgeting.

Simple

Photo: Simple (Apple iTunes Store)

This online banking app includes tools that allow you to budget and save, all with no fees. Once you set a goal, your Simple account automatically sets aside what you need to save. Goals also work as digital envelopes to store money for all your budget categories. Their Safe-to-Spend feature ensures that you don’t overspend by informing you of what’s left after your goals, scheduled bill payments, and pending transactions. The app does require you to sign up for a Simple Visa® Card and Banking Services are provided by Compass Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Mvelopes

If you or someone you know has ever designated envelopes with cash for specific purposes, example: groceries or entertainment, think of Mvelopes as the digital equivalent of that method. It allows the user to categorize their savings and fosters discipline by not allowing you to borrow money from one envelope if another is empty. Mvelopes also sets up a monthly financial plan for you. The basic version costs $ 3.99 a month and a free one month trial ends Jan. 26, 2018. The plus version grants access to coaching sessions and the debt-reduction center.

Photo: Myvelopes (Apple iTunes Store)

Wally

If creating a monthly expense sheet in Excel is intimidating at all to you, Wally makes it easy and manageable by giving you a view of what goes out and what comes in. The creators of the app aim to “give you the tools to understand where your money goes, and empower you to set and achieve financial goals.” The app tracks your expenses by allowing you to take photos of your receipts—a much easier way than having to input every amount you spent.

Photo: Wally (Apple iTunes Store)

Unsplurge

If you want to make that business idea a reality, buy that new smartphone, or finally take a trip to your dream destination, Unsplurge can help by allowing you to save up for that specific splurge expense. It contains a social component where you can share your financial goals and progress to the app’s social community, including your friends or family. If you’re falling short of meeting that goal, they can give you a reminder or tips, motivating you once again to keep your eyes on the prize.

Photo: Unsplurge (Apple iTunes Store)

Qapital

NerdWallet dubbed Qapital as best for goal-setting. Whether it’s a dream to head somewhere or simply become better at saving, this app moves your money automatically using various methods or rules that keep you accountable. Just input your goal and how much you need to reach it.  After that, you can choose to place loose change from your credit card into an FDIC-insured savings account, set up daily, weekly or monthly automatic deposits toward your goal, save a percentage each time you get paid or opt for the 52 week rule where you save $ 1 in week one, $ 2 in week two and so on until you reach 52 weeks.

Photo: Qapital (Apple iTunes Store)

The post 12 Great Apps To Save More Money and Jump-Start Your Financial Freedom in 2018 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Millennials and Gen Xers are Twice as Likely to Save More Money in 2018 Than Baby Boomers

At the end of each year, many Americans vow to save more money and spend less as a New Year’s resolution. However, achieving this goal often requires a commitment to learn and practice smarter money habits and lots of discipline, which, of course, is easier said than done. Saving more, however, may be even more challenging for the majority of older Americans, who are less likely to make that a priority than for those who are middle-aged or just graduating from college.

A newly released survey conducted in October by Harris Poll on behalf of CIT revealed that Generation X and Millennials are at least twice as likely as Baby Boomers to prioritize saving in 2018. According to the study, 67% of Millennials and 54% of Gen Xers plan to include savings as a goal next year compared to just 27% of Boomers. The majority of all generations, however, say they will prioritize savings for emergencies: 63% of Gen Xers, 61% of Millennials, and 51% of Boomers. (The survey defined Millennials as those between the ages 18 and 36, while Gen Xers are considered 37 to 51 years old, and Boomers are 52-plus.)

“Gen Xers are in the prime earning stage of life and understand the importance of saving for both short- and long-term expenses,” said Ravi Kumar, head of Internet Banking at CIT Bank, in a statement. “High Yield Savings Accounts can be a smart choice to allow your savings to grow, while still having access to funds for short-term goals or emergencies. CDs are a good solution for longer-term savings goals.”

Gen Xers and Millennials are also more likely to take advantage of money-saving strategies and innovative products like software-based apps. Thirty-nine percent of Millennials and 35% of Gen Xers agreed that new bank programs make it easier to save compared to only 21% of Boomers. Meanwhile, 41% of Millennials and 21% of Gen Xers consider lower interest rates on loans as a good tool to save versus 16% of Boomers.

 

The post Millennials and Gen Xers are Twice as Likely to Save More Money in 2018 Than Baby Boomers appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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How I Bunked With Eight Strangers in Miami to Save Money

When I landed in Florida, I had about $ 500 to my name.

It was the summer after I graduated from college, and I had moved to Miami on a whim. I had a job lined-up in the Magic City, but I had two weeks to go until I saw my first paycheck.

Without enough money to pay the first month’s rent, let alone a deposit and last month’s rent, which is a standard requirement to sign a lease in Miami, I rented a bed in an eight-person hostel room on South Beach.

What I lost in privacy, I gained in dollars. By living in a hostel, I was able to save money more quickly than I would have in any other housing option, and there were a few unexpected perks that trimmed my monthly budget without sacrificing my social life.

Free Breakfasts to Start Your Day

Free breakfasts are becoming a staple amenity in hostels, and these meals are usually already included in the room rate — I found that the additional price is almost always lower than what I would have paid buying groceries to make my own breakfast.

The diversity and quality of food varies from place to place, but fresh fruit, coffee, and a granola bar or oatmeal are typically included. Once you build a rapport with the staff, they’ll usually even accommodate your work schedule by giving you food to go or serving you your breakfast a little earlier, if you need it.

Community Kitchens to Shape Your Diet  

Hostel kitchens typically don’t have a stove or oven, so the types of food you can eat while staying there are naturally limited.

Soups and sandwiches are an easy option, and they’re cheaper than most things you could cook outside of a microwave. The communal refrigerator situation also poses some difficulties because you never know how much space you’ll actually have to store your food (or who might snag your tasty leftovers when you’re out of the room.) Spaces aren’t rationed out, so it’s every guest for him/herself when it comes to finding a coveted spot in the refrigerator.

Be warned: By living in a hostel, you’re constantly surrounded by tourists on vacation who have restaurants and expensive cocktails built into their budget. Remember you’re not them, and stick to food you prepare yourself.

Free or Discounted Activities

VIP access to that club you’ve been eyeing? Late-night showing of that new movie you never got to see in theaters? Hostels consistently boast overflowing activity lists, and most seasoned establishments offer free activities every night in order to attract guests.

Take advantage of these perks! I never pictured strolling into Mango’s Tropical Cafe on South Beach with a gaggle of men and women speaking Spanish, Portuguese, French and German, and my budget benefited from going out with my hostel-mates instead of strolling in solo due to the discounted tickets our hostel was able to get for us.

Free Local Knowledge

Your hostel staff most likely lives in the immediate area, and they’re usually required to have an extensive knowledge of the city where you’re staying.

Take advantage of this opportunity to ask them what you’re dying to know about the city — best places to eat in the lesser-known parts of your new city, cheapest way to get around town and best places to go to meet other locals.

In my experience, they love these questions because it breaks up the monotony of the same old inquiries they receive daily Taking advantage of this local knowledge can help you make informed long-term financial choices in your new city.

Free Common Areas to Meet New People

If you’re really looking to stretch your budget, hanging out in your hostel’s common area is a great way to meet people without being required to pay a cover charge or buy a drink to linger.

Enjoy knitting or journaling while you sit, and you’re guaranteed to have a fellow hosteler strike up a conversation with you — and you can pocket whatever money you would have spent during a night on the town.

Free Language Lessons

My favorite thing about living in a hostel is the variety of people I can meet in an hour and the dozens of languages I can hear in a day. People who enjoy staying in hostels are generally open to having conversations with complete strangers, and most people are delighted when someone takes an interest in their culture.

Take advantage of your hostel’s multicultural clientele to brush up on that Spanish you haven’t used since college or learn a few basic phrases in Swahili. You’ll save the money you would have spent on a language lesson, and you’ll make a new friend in a different part of the world.

While a hostel isn’t the most glamorous housing option, the money I’ve been able to save has made the communal living more than worth it. I’m able to spend my paycheck on experiences that are important to me, like traveling abroad and attending events around Miami. Living in a hostel is a great option for anyone who is moving to a city for the first time, and I recommend it for men and women of all ages.  

India is a thrifty travel writer based in Miami, Florida. She has lived in West Virginia and Argentina and is on a quest for the world’s best empanada.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Save 2 full paychecks in 2018 with this simple budgeting trick

If you want to get out of debt, stash away more for retirement or control excessive spending, making a simple tweak to your budget in 2018 could save you thousands of dollars!

I’ve been using this budgeting strategy for more than a decade to painlessly save two full paychecks a year.

RELATED: My 7 best money-saving tips for 2018

Paid biweekly? Here’s how to set up your budget

Here’s an example: Let’s say that after taxes, health insurance and retirement savings are deducted, your employer deposits a check for $ 1,000 into your checking account every two weeks.

Since there are 52 weeks a year, that’s 26 checks. Your annual take-home pay is $ 26,000.

If you’ve always been paid this way, you may not realize that you’re receiving two more paychecks a year than someone who’s paid twice a month.

Twice a month = 12 months x 2 = 24 checks
Every other week = 52 weeks / 2 = 26 checks

If you’re paid every other week, you’ll receive two paychecks a month, except for the two months of the year when you’ll get three paychecks.

March and August are my 3-paycheck months for 2018, but yours may be different depending on your pay calendar.

Treat the third paychecks as ‘bonus’ money

Here’s where the budgeting trick comes in. With the help of an online budgeting tool, I set my projected monthly income based on receiving two paychecks a month and nothing else.

Because those 3-paycheck months only come twice a year, I treat those checks like bonus money!

Maximize your 3-paycheck months

Need some ideas? When I was paying off my $ 86,000 mortgage in two years, I would use those “extra” paychecks to reduce the principal balance.

But you could use that money to reach other financial goals as well:

  • Pay off a debt
  • Contribute to a retirement account
  • Add it to the new car fund
  • Pay an insurance policy (auto, home, life)
  • Grow your emergency fund
  • Erase student loan debt
  • Start a vacation fund
  • Save up for a home renovation

Get a plan together now!

If you decide to use this strategy, the key is to make a plan for your third paychecks well ahead of time so that you spend your money wisely when that direct deposit hits your account.

More Clark.com money-saving tips and tricks:

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Meaningless or not, Packers’ shutout loss does little to save face in lost year

Green Bay had nothing riding on Saturday’s loss to Minnesota, but that doesn’t make the shutout loss to the Vikings any less disconcerting.
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Want to Save Thousands on a New Car? Buy the Nearly Identical 2017 Model

Buying a used car makes a lot of sense financially. But let’s face it — sometimes we just want something shiny and brand new.

But if you’re in the market for a new car, you may want to pause before you set your sights on a 2018 model vehicle. Online car retailer Vroom compared 2017 models against their 2018 counterparts and shared a few with us that are nearly identical but cost much less.

Scott Chesrown, Vroom’s chief revenue officer, said the biggest advantage in choosing an older model car over the latest version is the price.

“New cars can lose up to 22 percent of their value in the first year, starting from the moment you drive it off the lot,” he said. “Majority of the time, there isn’t much of a difference between models from year to year. There might be some cosmetic differences, but not enough to warrant spending 22% more.”

Here are four vehicles Vroom found where the 2017 models will feel like brand new in 2018 — but with savings of nearly $ 1,000 or more.

Hyundai Sonata

The average 2017 Hyundai Sonata comes in at $ 15,820 on Vroom while the list price for the 2018 model is $ 22,050. Vroom states the newer model varies from the older one only in that it has stiffer suspension and a new front grille, taillights, LED headlights and wheel design.

“If you’re not into minor cosmetic changes, you’ll be just as happy in the 2017 model,” the online car retailer claims.

And you’ll see a savings of over $ 6,200.

Audi A4

The 2017 Audi A4 costs about $ 28,600 on average on Vroom while the 2018 model comes in at $ 36,000. Go with the older version, and you’ll save $ 7,400.

Vroom states, “The new Audi A4 has an updated wheel design and a premium package option that includes heated seats, lane and high beam assists and adaptive cruise control. If you live in a warmer climate or don’t plan on getting a premium package, you’re probably better off with the 2017 version.”

Subaru WRX

Vroom’s price for a 2017 Subaru WRX is $ 26,000 on average while the 2018 model retails for $ 26,995.

According to Vroom, the exteriors of the two models are the same, but the 2018 version includes a newer collision monitoring system and electronic all-wheel drive, as well as a premium upgrade option. The online retailer states that if you’re opting out of the premium upgrade, you can find significant savings by choosing the older model car.

That’s nearly $ 1,000 in savings, by the way.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

On Vroom, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee averages around $ 27,050, while the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the 2018 model is $ 30,595. That adds up to a savings of over $ 3,500.

Vroom states, “There are no notable changes between the 2017 and 2018 Grand Cherokee models. Take advantage of the instant depreciation, and snag the 2017 version instead.”

If You’re Ready to Buy

If any of these savings piqued your interest, be sure to check out Carson Kohler’s post on buying a car from Vroom or other online car retailers. A set of new wheels doesn’t have to come with used car-lot haggling.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Interview: Guillermo del Toro on How Making ‘The Shape of Water’ Helped Save His Life

Interview: Guillermo del Toro on How Making 'The Shape of Water' Helped Save His Life

It's not all too common to refer to a movie about a sea creature as being beautiful, elegant and one helluva tearjerker, but that's exactly the best way to describe Guillermo del Toro's magnificent new film, The Shape of Water. In it, Sally Hawkins stars as a mute woman whose janitorial job at a mysterious laboratory leads to her uncovering of a sea creature being held captive and experimented on. She befriends the creature, then puts forth a plan to save it without being detected by…

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The Drinks That Will Save Your Holiday Party

Whether you love or hate Eggnog, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a cup of the creamy cocktail. In this episode of podcast Life Behind Bars, hosts Noah Rothbaum and David Wondrich discuss the surprisingly long history of the traditional Christmas drink as well as share some of their other favorite seasonal beverages, including a flaming German punch and the British Tom & Jerry. (FYI The cartoon was actually named for the popular drink.) No matter if you’re the host or a guest, this episode may just save your holiday party!

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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God Save Us From the Trump-LaVar Ball Battle

Donald Trump went after ubiquitous basketball Dad Lavar Ball this past weekend in a tweet, and TV networks everywhere must have gone mad with glee. This racially loaded and already intensely stupid situation has the potential to buttress ratings for years.  

The backstory: LaVar Ball is the father of a trio of highly talented basketball players who all took an unconventional

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: God Save Us From the Trump-LaVar Ball Battle

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The No. 1 thing you can save big on this Black Friday

You’ll want to be plugged into these killer Black Friday deals. Black Friday is around the corner on Friday, November 24th, and the day after Thanksgiving is bound to have sales just as robust as the Turkey Day feasts preceding them. If last year’s data is any indication of what 2017 may hold, Black Friday…
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Conservation by killing? ‘Trophy’ asks if commerce can save threatened species

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Is Black Friday Dead? Here’s How to Save Shopping Online (Just in Case)

It’s with a heavy heart that we inform you: Some news outlets are reporting the death of Black Friday.

But we can’t seem to dig up its official death certificate over here at Penny Hoarder HQ.

Maybe because the retail holiday isn’t totally dead; it’s just not as sparkly and exciting as it used to be.

Not as many folks are finding the appeal in camping out in the Best Buy parking lot or tackling some unsuspecting stranger to the ground for that snazzy TV.

This has to do with folks wanting, in part, to shop online while eating leftover turkey on their couch, sans pants. And yes, the digital deals are just as good these days, anyway.

Shopping Black Friday Online Deals? 4 Ways to Save More

That scene I described above… the one with the leftover turkey, the couch and the no pants thing… that’s me.

And, apparently, millions of other Americans, too. The National Retail Federation found that 3 million fewer folks shopped in stores on Thanksgiving weekend last year. Rather, 5 million more people shopped online.

Here are four ways I’m planning to save even more money this Black Friday weekend.

1. Drop It, Drop It Low (The Prices, Duh)

Where will you be shopping online this Black Friday? Think about it for a second.

For me, it’ll likely be Amazon, Nordstrom and Zappos.

OK, now download Drop, an app that automatically grants you points on all qualifying purchases. Let me walk you through how I signed up:

  1. Enter your phone number here. Drop will “drop” you a link via text.
  2. Download the app.
  3. Link your most-used debit or credit cards. This is what will trigger your accumulation of points, so you don’t even have to think about it.
  4. Select your five favorite retailers.

Done. Now say I shop Target online during Black Friday. Drop will automatically give me eight points per dollar spent.

Once I hit 10,000 points, I’ll be able to cash out for a $ 10 gift card.

2. Earn(y) Cash Back When Prices Fluctuate

Black Friday is supposed to be the day of lowest prices EVER, but we all know that’s a half-truth.

Say I’m planning to try to find some heavily discounted boots. Well, I buy them for $ 39.99. But a week after Black Friday, I find the price dropped another $ 5.

Instead of kicking myself, I’ve signed up for Earny. He’ll (err, the robot) will comb my receipts in my inbox and keep an eye on price drops. If… and when… that happens, Earny will contact the retailer and claim the difference for me. So if what I said above happens, I’ll snag $ 5.

It can find price drops with some big-name retailers like Walmart, Target, Nordstrom, Jet and, yes, Zappos.

3. Hunt Down Promo Codes

You might not have to do a ton of hunting for promo codes on Black Friday. Hopefully your favorite retailers promote those on their homepages.

If not, poke around and see if you can find something.

Try finding “Hot Deals” over at Ebates.

For example, at the time of this writing, I could snag 30% off anything from The Popcorn Factory. Or 10% off $ 35 at Barnes & Noble. Or try 25% off skincare products at Philosophy.

I prefer to search by store to make it easy (and so I don’t get roped in by other “ooooh shiny” deals).

4. Pocket Cash When Shopping Through Ibotta

At this point, I’ve done all the prep I’m going to do. Now, it’s time to shop.

If I’m buying anything from Amazon, Overstock, Target or Walmart, for example, I open my Ibotta app and shop through it.

Sure, it can be slightly annoying to shop through my mobile phone, but I usually find what I’m looking for on my laptop, then find it again after opening Ibotta.

Recently, I earned $ 1.14 on a one-item order from Amazon, $ 3.21 from Target.com and $ 1.49 at Overstock.

Since signing up in May, I’ve earned nearly $ 85 back on items I’d normally buy. So you betcha I’ll stack even more savings this upcoming Black Friday weekend. (Also because I’m in a race with co-workers to see who can save the most.)

Anyway, those are four of my favorite easy tips to help you save more money while shopping online during Black Friday. If you want even more, check out this post on saving (and making) money while shopping online.

Perhaps next year we’ll be eulogizing Black Friday. But for now, it’s still kickin’.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. You can find her powering through a turkey coma to find the best online deals this Black Friday.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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How to save money while travelling in Latin America

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Latin America has so much to offer those who are looking for a dynamic and adventurous place to visit on vacation. You may have visited this wonderful part of the world, but, if you haven’t, we recommend you visit right now. Now, it might seem like this is going to be a very expensive venture, but, there are actually plenty of money-saving options available to you to help save cash while you’re visiting Latin America.

There are plenty of excellent tips you can find online that will help you save money and have a better experience. However, we like to think that the tips we are offering here are specific to Latin America. Check out these awesome ideas and suggestions that will really play a big part in allowing you to save cash on your visit to Latin America.

Take the cheaper bus

It might seem like it’s the right choice to pay more and get a more comfortable, swanky, and luxurious bus, especially when you’re heading for a long journey. However, we are focused on trying to save as much money as we can on the trip, and that’s the main goal here. So, in order to save plenty of money on travel, you need to make sure you take the more basic bus – sometimes known as the ‘chicken bus.’ These are dirt cheap, and the perfect way of getting from A to B.

Do your own tours

Whenever we go abroad, it’s tempting to try to book and organize local tours. These are a great way of ensuring you get a new experience and soaking up some of the wonderful culture of Latin America. But, these tours are usually overpriced, and you will almost definitely be able to get a more cost-effective trip by sorting it out yourself. Make sure you hire bikes and make your own way around famous sites, such as Chile’s Luna Valley. It will save you money, you’ll get to avoid the crowds, and, as a bonus, you’ll keep fit in the process.

Always eat local

There’s a temptation when you are abroad to stick with what you know, and eat at restaurants that have that flicker of familiarity. The problem is, these restaurants are often much more expensive and can drain your budget pretty sharpish. So, the best thing to do is to make sure you always try to eat local. We think this is the best approach anyway because you get a wonderful amount of culture and experience from trying local foreign cuisines. And, you might even wind up trying something you’ve never had before!

Pick your flights sensibly

It’s actually amazing how much money you can save if you are clever about booking your flights. This is especially important if you are flying to somewhere in the back end of nowhere. When you’re going to book your flights, you need to make sure you aren’t overpaying. So, the first thing to do is avoid the airline’s direct website, where you will invariably overpay. Google or Skyscanner are often the best resources for ensuring you get the best deals, and manage to get your flights for much less money.

We feel these tips are essential if you are serious about wanting to save money on your trip to Latin America. There are some other techniques you can adopt as well, such as opting to go self-catering. Saving yourself money upfront is crucial, and will really help you to shave pennies off the overall cost of your Latin American adventure.

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