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Michelin-quality food on an intern's budget

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Gabi.Moskowitz)
at 9:00AM Monday February 24, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Let's be honest. The idea of eating gourmet food every day is nice and all, but when it's the end of a long day and you are somehow faced with the task of getting dinner on the table, it can be pretty tempting to just defrost a frozen meal or call out for help (AKA pizza delivery). You want to eat well, but you don't exactly consider yourself a culinarian. And besides, cooking is hard and takes a long time, right? Right?!

Microwave Cooking for One
(photo credit: seriouseats.com)

Wrong.

The truth is, with just a tiiiiny bit of planning and prep, you can kick your food repertoire up several notches, making it taste better, faster. Even if you're lazy, tired and broke, you can cook and eat like someone who knows what they're doing. Read More …

Aaron's thinks "Max Your Tax!" is a good slogan. The deal is even worse than it sounds

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Mike.Pearl)
at 1:16PM Friday February 21, 2014
under Shop Smarter

Aarons
via Google Street View

It's not as hilarious as Coke's notorious "Bite the wax tadpole!" but Aaron's "Max Your Tax!" slogan this spring sounds equally unpalatable. The posters and commercials make clear that they ostensibly want you to maximize the value of your tax return. But it's just as well. The misreading conveys what'll really happen to you if you shop at Aaron's when your check from the IRS comes.

Read More …

Amazon's ridiculously good, seriously awesome tablet deal du jour

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 8:37AM Thursday February 20, 2014
under Spotlight Deals

Oh, Amazon. I can't refuse you. Just take my money, dammit!

Yeah, the company is back to its price-slashing ways. Last month, it served up some crazy-good deals on higher-end Kindle Fire tablets, including the awesome HDX for just $199.

Today, there's a deal for the real cheapskates out there, for folks who don't need all the bells and whistles but still want a seriously good 7-inch tablet.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get a certified refurbished 2nd-generation Kindle Fire tablet for $79 shipped. That is such a ridiculously good deal, I think I just peed a little. Read More …

I annoyed several customer service reps to try to find the most expensive things online

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Grant.Pardee)
at 9:00AM Wednesday February 19, 2014
under Stuff We Like

For no better reason than to have a reason to write an article online about one of my favorite activities - online shopping - I decided to investigate a few of my favorite online retailers to identify the most expensive thing you could buy from each of them. I don't know where this impulse came from, but we're exploring it anyway.

You know how you hear stories about very wealthy people who made their fortune from nothing but the grit under their fingernails, and they always have that same anecdote about framing the first dollar they ever earned, or writing themselves a check for a million dollars and then one day being able to cash it? Maybe I'm subconsciously setting goals so that when all this freelance blogging pays off with all the riches nobody promised, I'm going to be able to e-march into all of my favorite e-shops and purchase #TheMostExpensiveItems #ForNoGoodReason and worry no more.

My first target is Target.com because it seemed like a good Target. After a few minutes of browsing the site, I can't find a "Search By Most Expensive" search parameter and just searching "expensive" isn't getting me anywhere so I decide to help myself to some good old fashioned analog Customer Service telephone representatives. Read More …

Ditch your drugstore beauty supplies and rub food all over your face

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Cheryl.Lock)
at 9:00AM Tuesday February 18, 2014
under Money Saving Tips

Just this past weekend I spent $70 on beauty supplies. Just six basic supplies. At a drugstore.

It's not easy (or cheap) staying beautiful.

This surprisingly expensive outing got me thinking – are there things I could be using around my own home to curb the costs of spending so much on beauty supplies? I did a little digging and, as it turns out … there are. Read More …

Nice Over Rice: Turning last night's leftover rice into tonight's five-star meal

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Gabi.Moskowitz)
at 9:00AM Monday February 17, 2014
under Stuff We Like

You know the scenario: you ordered takeout and (with or without the help of others) managed to demolish it all. All, that is, except for one last carton of rice. You know you shouldn't waste food, but you just don't see yourself eating a bowl of plain rice in the near future—especially after it gets hard and crumbly after a night in the refrigerator. You resign to the fact that you'll just have to throw it out.

Not so fast. Within that crappy carton of boring rice, there exists endless possibility for culinary greatness. With just a little bit of creativity and a few minutes of prep, you can be sitting down to a totally new, totally fabulous meal in no time. (And let's be honest, I did the creative part for you here, so you really just have to do the prep). Read More …

How to save on aphrodisiacs: Don't buy them (unless they're tasty)

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Mike.Pearl)
at 6:00AM Friday February 14, 2014
under Stuff We Like

oyster aphro
Photo by Mike Pearl via Wikimedia Commons

This Valentines Day, if you must read one sentence about aphrodisiacs, please let it be this one: Don't buy any so-called aphrodisiacs, and instead save your money for a nice dinner. That's the FDA's longstanding position, and the Mayo Clinic's, but they're obviously going to be boring and conservative about risks you might take. I'm much less conservative, but I agree with them completely.

The internet is a perfect machine designed to trick people into buying fake aphrodisiacs, and it's been that way for decades. Imagine this was your first day here. If you were like most people, within seconds you would be aroused by the internet's limitless free titillation, made insecure by a completely unfiltered flow of targeted advertising, and bombarded by deceptive spam messages offering a quick solution to your problem.

In many ways, the internet has made good on its promise to provide us with just the answers to things instantly, as with this amazing Google feature that automatically harvests information from reliable sources, and presents it in the search engine results page -- my vote for Best thing Humanity has Ever Accomplished: Read More …

Five dumb things you should stop paying for

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 5:43PM Thursday February 13, 2014
under Money Saving Tips

Some things in life we're stuck paying for, like shelter, clothing, and donuts. (If you've worked out a way to get free donuts, let me know immediately.) However, you might be surprised to learn that a few life essentials (well, "essentials") can be had for less than you're paying now--and perhaps even for free. And, no, I'm not talking about trading in your car for a bike so you don't have buy gasoline; these are practical real-world savings on stuff you use all the time. But I'm still trying to crack the donut problem. Read More …

Other fun things you can do with those ridiculously long CVS receipts

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Grant.Pardee)
at 9:00AM Wednesday February 12, 2014
under Stuff We Like

CVS, or Heaven's Commissary as I like to think of it, has made headlines recently as the first national pharmacy to cease cigarette sales at all locations. It's a pretty brave move, plus it makes it look like maybe Walgreens and Rite-Aid support lung cancer, which is a plus for the CVS brand. Personally, I support this move from CVS. Smoking cigarettes is like wearing a fedora: you only think it looks cool because of the black and white photographs. But you don't live in a black and white photograph and you just look like a loser when you do it.

The other thing CVS has been known for recently, and you may know this if you've shopped there at all, is that if you swipe your Extra Care card at checkout, you're subject to receiving an extraneously long receipt with multiple coupons on it. It's great for deals, but these coupons actually have many uses that you may find helpful. Read More …

Make money from your smartphone's lock screen

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 8:30AM Tuesday February 11, 2014
under Stuff We Like

If you've ever shopped for a Kindle tablet or e-reader, you know that Amazon offers a discounted price if you opt for the "Special Offers" version, which displays ads on the lock screen.

Personally, I have no problem with that. A lock screen isn't a place I typically linger; it's the only thing standing between me and Candy Crush Saga (uh, I mean, books--the only thing standing between me and books). Power button, swipe, done. A quick glance at an ad during those 1.5 seconds? In exchange for money? Fine by me. Read More …

5 reasons you should be eating garbage

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Gabi.Moskowitz)
at 9:00AM Monday February 10, 2014
under Stuff We Like

It's common knowledge that fresh vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet.You know this. This is why you buy, cook and eat them on the regular. Every week, you dutifully fill your cart with your local market's bounty. You chop, toss, roast, and sauté. You feel pretty darn good about this.

But then you go and do a stupid thing: you throw away the scraps.

Dude. Stop doing that.

Fresh vegetables (especially organic ones) can be expensive, and this means you should be making the most of them! So often, their scraps (better known as the parts of produce we tend to immediately compost) can actually be made quite delicious with just a little bit of effort. So delicious, in fact, you might even find you prefer some of these "trashy" preparations to the whole vegetable. Better yet, using every last bit means your money goes further because your veggies yield more meals. You get to pat yourself on the back for helping minimize waste (go you!). Read More …

Vine Voices and other reasons to approach Amazon reviews with caution

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Mike.Pearl)
at 9:12AM Friday February 7, 2014
under Shop Smarter

We all know Amazon reviews run the gamut from "insightful" to "worse than reading nothing at all," and we can cope with the poor quality. The inane reviews lend credibility to the rest, making the good ones seem culled from a vast field of "authentic" average consumers. But thanks to some of Amazon's sketchier practices -- especially a program called "Vine Voices" -- you can't even be sure of that. Here's a guide that should help you machete your way through the Amazon. I chose 20 reviews* and dissected them for content and other patterns.

Vine Voices:

2 out of 20, or 10 percent of the reviews I read, said "Vine Voices" next to the review. Vine is a six year-old invitation-only program for serious Amazon reviewers to smooth out their writing process by simply delivering them free swag. Yes, Vine (Which has nothing to do with the video sharing app) mails certain products to the homes of reviewers, and the reviewers agree to send the item back if requested, so it's just borrowed, not a gift. But apparently this rarely if ever happens. In other words, a review with "Vine Voices" next to it isn't a customer review at all. Read More …

How to get free 2-day shipping forever

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 1:13PM Thursday February 6, 2014
under Shop Smarter

This is an update of a post I wrote nearly a year ago. What was once a time-limited offer is now free forever. Woot!

I'm addicted to free shipping. I can spend hours in the virtual aisles of an online store, padding my cart with just the items I need, then scouring for a discount code--but if I get to the checkout page and find there's a big ol' shipping charge, forget it.

No sale.

This is especially aggravating when you're buying a single, inexpensive product, and the shipping costs nearly the same as the item!

That's why I like having a subscription to ShopRunner, a nifty service that, among other things, assures you free shipping at more than 80 stores. Even better than that, free 2-day shipping. Read More …

This week in deals: 5 Valentine's Day deals for you and your lover

By (view all posts by Susan.Yoo-Lee)
at 6:00AM Wednesday February 5, 2014
under This Week In DealsStaff

 Now that Super Bowl 2014 has come and gone, let's direct our focus on another special event that's happening next week, Valentine's Day 2014. If you're a hopeless romantic, a lover, this day was made especially for you.

Traditionally, you would give a nice assortment of chocolates in a heart shaped box, a dozen of red roses and a white teddy bear with a red heart on it, but there is so much more you can get for that special person in your life and we're here to help.

Here are this week's sexiest five deals:

Deal #1: Your one stop shop, Macy's is offering an additional 10-15% off most departments. You can choose from jewelry to their favorite undies. Expires 02/10/2014. Read More …

Qube2 review: Big sound packed into a tiny speaker

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 11:46AM Tuesday February 4, 2014
under Product Review

Portable speakers come in all shapes and sizes, but rarely does the size merit an "awww, cute!"

That's the Matrix Audio Qube2 in a tiny nutshell. Measuring just 3.1 inches long and 1.4 inches square, this little guy makes a Twinkie look big. And yet its size belies its power: the Qube2 pumps up the jams like you wouldn't believe.

I'm listening to a review unit at this very moment. It's paired via Bluetooth to my iPhone, which is streaming tunes from Pandora. And it sounds amazeballs--way, way better than a speaker of this size has any right to. Read More …

Freebie Corner: Free TaylorMade 6 Iron and more

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Jackie.Simione)
at 6:00AM Saturday February 1, 2014
under Freebies

In honor of National Yogurt Day, both Menchies and Yogurtland are giving out free yogurt. Visit any of their locations on the designated date and time to get yours for free.
 
If you're a beauty enthusiast, you can't miss Allure Magazine's full size product giveaway. You'll see items from GlamGlow, Nivea, Obessive Compulsive and even a mini curling iron. But, you'll have to be quick because the offer is for the first 500 who sign up each day.
 
Freebie #1: REMINDER - Frozen Yogurt at Menchies - Offer valid on February 6th only. "Like" their page and scroll down to get the coupon.
Read More …

Three cool tricks for Netflix users

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 11:33AM Friday January 31, 2014
under Stuff We Like

Netflix is so awesome, there are times I want to take it behind the bleachers and make out with it.

In fact, it's kind of ridiculous how good a deal it is. For eight bucks a month you get unlimited streaming to any and every device you own: phones, tablets, PCs, Apple TVs, Roku boxes, game consoles, and so on.

Of course, as wonderful as Netflix is, there are ways to make it better. Below I've rounded up three of my favorite tips for getting more from the service--two of them free, all of them awesome. Read More …

Google wants to give you a free ride

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Mike.Pearl)
at 12:02PM Thursday January 30, 2014
under Newsworthy

Google published a patent last week -- although they filed for it in 2011 -- for a type of ad that offers you a free or discounted ride to the business that's being advertised to you. It'll be a big deal if this really does start showing up in banners and popups.

According to Google's patent drawing, "transportation-aware physical advertising conversions," will show up on your Apple Newton (left) and on a parking garage ticket kiosk (right). Or maybe the drawings just aren't very sophisticated and the ads will show up on your phone.

Google1 Read More …

7 simple tricks for stocking a healthier pantry

By DealPro(view all posts by CrystalECollins)
at 3:15PM Wednesday January 29, 2014
under DealPro Tips

It's always fun when friends come over and they want to see my pantry. Most people know that I make so much of our food from scratch, and that I use whole ingredients. People want to see what I actually stock my pantry with. 

This got me thinking: what are some simple things that people can replace in their pantries with healthier alternatives? Are there small changes people can make that have them eating healthier? Most definitely.

Let's talk about six of them. If you just do one of these, you'll have made a small change towards a healthier lifestyle. I like small and simple, don't you? 

Here's what to choose:

1. Brown rice instead of white rice. 

Brown rice is far superior to white rice nutritionally, as well as helpful in managing a balanced glucose metabolism.
Read More …

This week in deals: Save 40% off your entire orders at Carter's, plus more

By (view all posts by Susan.Yoo-Lee)
at 6:00AM Wednesday January 29, 2014
under This Week In DealsStaff

If you haven't already heard, we've been working really hard at curating deals for More, Ladies Home Journal, Parents Goodyblog and Woman's Day. Make sure you head on over to their respective sites to see all the spectacular deals that we've handpicked for their readers.

And this week, we have the best of the best clothing offers around the web for you. Retailers are trying to push their inventory out to make room for new arrivals and to make things more interesting, they're slashing prices on new inventory. A big win for us all around!

With additional savings up to 50% on top of already low sale prices, this is your week to go on a shopping splurge:

Deal #1: Time to stock up on my daughter's basics at Carter's because they are offering 40% off the entire purchase. Expires 01/30/2014. Read More …

5 marketing tactics that prevent you from being healthy

By DealPro(view all posts by CrystalECollins)
at 8:50AM Monday January 27, 2014
under Shop Smarter

These days we are becoming more and more conscious about the food that we put in our mouths. We want the best for our families and our bodies, so we do the best we can to eat healthy wherever we can.

But what if you were being duped by a marketer into thinking you were eating healthy? Would you feel like you wasted money? I would. Let's talk about some marketing tactics that are preventing you from being healthy.

1. "Sugar Free." 

Most sugar free products contain artificial sweeteners that can actually be worse for you. These artificial sweeteners are known to cause some or all of the following side effects: headaches, fibromyalgia, anxiety, memory loss, arthritis, brain tumors, weight gain, seizures, IBS, nausea, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, vision problems, kidney damage, possible cancer, inflammation, skin irritation, bladder issues, and even neurological disorders. Read More …

Is it time to consider a Surface tablet?

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 7:49AM Monday January 27, 2014
under Shop Smarter

Microsoft's Surface RT tablets haven't exactly set the world on fire, and with good reason: They suck. Okay, that's just Microsoft hater-speak. But the early arguments against the RTs definitely held water: They're expensive, they don't run legacy Windows programs, and they don't come bundled with that cool-looking keyboard cover Microsoft touts in every single Surface ad and TV commercial.

Needless to say, I've been pretty sour on these devices since they debuted just over a year ago. But during that time, I've heard from lots of Surface RT owners who really (really) like the device. What's more, prices are dropping, especially on refurbished models. Read More …

Freebie Corner: Free Menchie's yogurt, free Purina and Beneful dog food and more

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Jackie.Simione)
at 6:00AM Saturday January 25, 2014
under Freebies

If you have a dog or an animal shelter near you, don't miss out on the Beneful and Purina offer. Your four-legged friend will love you for it. Especially, those that are without homes (your efforts will go a long way). Grab your neighbors, friends and make it a group effort.

And for you, get yourself a coupon for a free burger or wrap at a EVOS near you on January 30th. For all the healthy dessert lovers out there, get a free 6oz yogurt from Menchie's for National Frozen Yogurt Day on February 6th.

Plus there's more, check out the list!

Freebie #1: Beneful Healthy Smile Dog Food Sample - Offer is available again. "Like" them on Facebook on to get the form. Read More …

Your tech gear: When to repair, when to replace

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 9:28AM Friday January 24, 2014
under Stuff We Like

When something goes wrong with your car, typically you get it fixed. Of course, if it's an older car with a lot of miles, and the repair costs are enough to make you cry, it might make more sense to cut bait and start shopping for new wheels.

When something goes wrong with your tech, do the same rules apply? It all depends on the type of gear and what's busted about it. While a shattered smartphone screen may be worth fixing, a problematic TV may not. (Be prepared: There's likely to be crying either way.) Let's take a look at four popular tech items and whether it makes sense to repair or replace them. Read More …

10 items men cannot be trusted to buy at the grocery store

By (view all posts by Seth.Barnes)
at 6:00AM Friday January 24, 2014
under Shop Smarter

The modern grocery store is a hive of commerce, a 24/7 Superstore selling everything imaginable with almost limitless selection across product categories. Need aluminum foil? Prepare to sort through a spectrum of options starting with the store brand and ending with a technological wonder that could serve as a heat shield for a spacecraft reentering Earth's atmosphere. In short, the grocery store is the last place you should send the average American male, provided you actually want the items on his list.

Calling out gender differences certainly isn't in vogue these days, and as a Dad and husband, I'm hesitant to criticize my own species. But this missive is a cry for help. Based on personal experience, I know no matter how hard I try, I cannot be trusted to accurately buy the items below, most likely due to an evolutionary quirk among my ancestors that makes me blind to the difference between tins of anchovies and sardines displayed in close proximity to each other.

By admitting defeat and articulating the shame I feel about being so massively distracted while food shopping, I'm hoping we can take the first step towards creating a different world for my son to grow up in. A world where he doesn't have a panic attack standing in front of a towering shelf of pickle spears. Please have compassion for us. For we are just men.
Read More …