Menstrual Period Subscription Boxes Are, Apparently, a Thing (and a Waste of Money)

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I have been menstruating for over half my life. I’m used to it. I’m, dare I say, pretty good at it. The monthly act of going to the drug store and buying my tampons, cramp meds and assorted accouterments that no longer faze me like it did when I was fifteen. I don’t think there’s anything unusual about the ease with which I deal with the emotional terrorist that is Aunt Flo.

But if I were the sort of woman who, let’s say, wasn’t comfortable getting their Tampax rung up by a bored-looking teenage clerk in a primary colored vest, I could get a period subscription box, filled with a combination of feminine protection products and sweets, delivered to me in a plain, unmarked receptacle once a month. That’s right—the subscription box trend has expanded to the realm of reproduction. But are they worth it? I sent away for a few of them to find out.

HISY Remote Shutter Promises Perfect Selfies–For a Price

HISY

Ever since phone makers started building front-facing cameras into their handsets, people have been snapping “selfies.” But only when some yutz coined that term last year did the selfie backlash begin.

Frankly, I don’t think the picture itself is the problem. It’s the process of taking them that needs work.

Think about it: Using just one hand, you have to hold your phone at arm’s length, then tap the screen or a button to trigger the shutter. That seemingly simple action often results in a slight jarring of the phone, which can lead to a blurry image. And how often do you screw up your carefully staged camera angle at the same time?

This is, suffice it to say, a first-world problem, but it’s also one with a solution: HISY, a remote camera trigger that let’s you snap hands-free photos. (Well, sort of. Read on.)

Like Netflix but for Clothing: JustFab, Adore Me, and Gwynnie Bee

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As internet subscription services begin to outnumber websites featuring quizzes about things like ‘Which Caroline in the City character are you?” I find myself wondering which of them are actually worth my monthly fee and which have a press release that just fit nicely into a click-through blurb?

I decided to test a few of them out to get a feel for how they actually benefit a user, and how much they live up to their promising allure.

Say Hello to HP’s $100 Android Tablet

HP7

It’s about time!

Earlier this week, HP quietly unveiled a new addition to its tablet lineup: the HP 7 Plus. Price: $99.99. Cheapskates of the world, rejoice!

Indeed, that’s the cheapest name-brand tablet to date. The closest competitor is Amazon’s $139 Kindle Fire HD. I’ve seen other models priced at $100 or less, but they were all from companies with names like Azpen and Hisense. What’s in a name? Hey, Shakespeare didn’t know from tablets.

The big question is whether a sub-$100 tablet could possibly be any good, even with the HP logo stamped on. Ultimately, that depends on what you want from a tablet. On paper, the HP 7 Plus looks pretty good, albeit with some mixed specs.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3: The Final Insult

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Earlier today, Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface Pro 3, the company’s third attempt at crafting the ultimate laptop replacement. And that’s exactly how they’re positioning it: a solution for the “conflict” that exists between laptops and tablets. (Somewhere in Hollywood, some hack is outlining a Freaky Friday remake.)

This is an intriguing product for a number of reasons, starting with price: the Pro 3 starts at $799, which is actually less than the Pro 2. But the top-end model costs a jaw-dropping $1,949 (not including a couple must-have accessories), a price point normally reserved for flagship MacBooks. And rich people.

Another big deal: the big screen. The Pro 3 measures 12 inches diagonally, which puts it closer to laptop territory. (The previous Pro had a 10.6-inch display.) Just as important, it allows for a larger, less-cramped keyboard. All told, it should make work chores more comfortable. Size does matter, especially where your fingers are involved. (Wait, that came out wrong.)

Read This Before You Book Your Summer Vacation and You’ll Save Money

Traveler with a bag at the speedwalk

I consider myself an avid traveler (or at least, I love to travel, so that must count for something!). As such, it’s important for me to get a bit creative when it comes to cutting back on the travel spending. Especially during the peak travel season of summer, rising prices can sometimes threaten to hold me back from the awesome destinations I hope to visit.

This season, I’m taking a stand. I’ve consulted with some of the most seasoned travel experts in the business and asked them for their failsafe ways to save a bit of cash when it comes to summer travel.

I plan on putting many of these into effect immediately … see ya on the beaches!

Listen Up! Get Two Free Months of Audiobooks from Audible

Audible

I know it’s en vogue right now to accept boredom, embrace boredom, even seek out boredom. (If you love boredom so much, pundits, why don’t you marry it!) But you know what? Boredom sucks! And it sucks the most when you’re behind the wheel, with nothing to do except fight the road rage that’s building inside you because you’re so insanely bored.

Audiobooks to the rescue! For long commutes and road trips alike, there’s nothing better than a book–especially when it’s a free book.

For a limited time, LivingSocial is offering a free two-month subscription to Audible, the Amazon-owned audiobook service. And within that subscription you’re entitled to two totally free books–one per month.

Announcing Save Up 2014

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It’s that time of year again! It’s time for our annual Save Up conference, and this year we’re thrilled to host our seventh edition of the conference in the lovely and quirky city of Austin, Texas. America’s savviest money-saving bloggers, the Savings.com DealPros, will be descending upon Austin from July 31st through August 2nd for a couple days of learning, networking and fun!

Motorola’s Updated Moto G: Buy This Smartphone, Stupid

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When I think about the old way of buying a smartphone, I want to throw up.

Traditionally you’d have to spend a couple hundred bucks on the hardware, then spend the next two years locked into a contract that could easily cost you $80, $90, even $100 per month.

Thankfully, the days of the contract are nearly over. But if you want a decent unlocked, unsubsidized smartphone–I’m looking at you, iPhone 5S and Galaxy S5–plan on paying anywhere from $500-700. Ouch.

But guess what? Motorola just took the definition of “decent unlocked, unsubsidized smartphone,” put it in the blender, and pressed Screw It. The company’s new Moto G is the single best deal in the history of smartphones.

Does It Pay to Fly Spirit Airlines?

Spirit Scratch

I fly a lot.

In the past seven months I’ve flown Qantas to Australia, Icelandair to Iceland, JetBlue to Florida and … drum roll, please …Spirit to Denver.

In case you’ve missed the news recently, Spirit isn’t exactly a luxury airliner — nor are they No. 1 in customer service. In fact, they’re dead last — drawing complaint rates that were more than three times higher than the second-place airlines from 2009 to 2013.

Here’s the thing though: The price was right. The available times worked out … and I had yet to read all the awful reviews the company consistently racks up. (And, for the record, has chalked up to simple misunderstandings.)

So, was it worth it? In my own personal opinion — yes, and here’s why.

You’re Probably Not a Good Tipper

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You may think you’re always a great tipper, but you’re lying to yourself. I guarantee you’ve been a bad tipper in at least one of these situations. You probably don’t even realize how bad your tips are. That’s the worst thing about it. You’ve been going all over town thinking you’re a tipping champion of the people when really everyone thinks you’re a low tipping d-bag.

Don’t be a jerk. Tip people what they’re worth.

Happy Hours and Groupons
What You Should Tip: 20% of the regular price
What Bad Tippers Tip: 20% of the discounted price

Why Did I Buy This? with Grant Pardee: Drone Wars

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Drunk dialing Amazon is a real problem. Sometimes you make purchases in the heat of the moment and then forget the transaction ever happened until the mail comes and you have a mysterious package waiting for you from Amazon that bears your name on it. Recently, I discovered that I had apparently purchased a consumer drone from Amazon. You can see my review below.

WhistleOut Helps You Compare Mobile Phone Plans

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Got your eye on a shiny new HTC One M8? Looking for a new carrier for your out-of-contract iPhone? Want lower rates for your family’s four lines before they run you into the poorhouse?

Tricky stuff. Between the Big Four carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) and the 20-plus little-guy offshoots (from AIO Wireless to Zact), you could spend days hopping around to different stores and sites, trying to find the best plan for you and/or you family.

Guess what? There’s a search engine for that: WhistleOut. Actually, it’s a “comparison engine,” designed to show you mobile plans based on your requirements.

Fast Food Value Menu Showdown with Josh Androsky

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Every fast food says they have a “value” menu, but is it really a good value, especially compared to other major chains? I take five dollars to three of the country’s biggest fast food restaurants and see what bang I can truly get for my buck.

Director: Cassandra Lee Hamilton
Music: Cowabunga Babes

Happy Hour Secret Prices and Menu at Chain Restaurants

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Chain restaurants are pretty secretive when it comes to letting customers know exactly how cheap their happy hour prices are. After all, if you knew you could fill up on the same grub for a third of the price at 6PM, why would you show up at 7?

Most times, it’s impossible to figure out how much a place’s Pineapple Explosion Fingers™ and Ranch Rum Runners™ are during happy hour than finding the nutrition information. And you know they hate telling you exactly how many calories are in their Chicken Wing-Dingers™. 

Since these establishments are pretty tight-lipped about their prices, I put together a guide to some of the most popular happy hour deals in the country. (Prices and selection, of course, may vary by region.)

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