Herding Cats: Our Favorite Savings Stories for the Week of December 13th
Just one more week until this holiday shopping madness subsides! I’ve bought so much stuff online that I genuinely have no idea what things are when they show up on my doorstep. Consumerist: Weirdest College Scholarships Ever – This list isn’t as weird as you’re expecting. Some of this stuff is actually just very niche (agribusiness, viticulture, aquatic entomology, mycology), but then again, some of them are pretty ridiculous. If I was still in high school, I could finally be putting all my Star Trek knowledge to good use!
WalletPop: AMC Cracks Down On Movie Snack-Smugglers – Wait… so up until October we were actually allowed to bring outside food into movie theaters? That completely takes the fun out of it (retroactively, I mean). The most fail-safe way to enjoy your contraband snacks and drinks has always been the girl-with-a-big-purse strategy. But what if it’s guys’ night, you ask? Not to worry, dudes. As a freshman at USC, I learned that I could easily smuggle a surprisingly large quantity of refreshments into our football games at the Coliseum by wearing jeans and tucking plastic bottles inside my socks. This requires a slow and straight-legged gait, but try not to look too much like Frankenstein or you might draw some suspicion.
The Wall Street Journal: Tax Court Lets DUI Driver Write Off Car Damage – Yep, you read that headline correctly. When some California kid rolled his truck and got a DUI, a Tax Court judge overruled the IRS and let him off the hook to the tune of a $33,629 write-off. Apparently it isn’t “willfully negligent” if you’re barely over the legal limit (he registered a 0.09%). Don’t get any ideas, though – unless you’re Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin, driving drunk definitely isn’t going to end this favorably for you.
The Big Money: A Brief History Of The Gift Card – The ultimate Christmas present cop-out, gift cards are now an $87 billion industry during the holidays. A few nights ago, my friend and I were shopping at Target and wondering what to get each other for Christmas this year. She concluded that we’re too old to still be doing gift cards, and I agreed that it would be pretty lame. I ended up offering to buy her a bag she liked, she bought me a new pair of earbuds, and we both promised to act surprised when we open them next Friday. It’s a pretty good system!
MainStreet: Stores With The Best Return Policies – An awesome return policy is one of the best ways for a retailer to build trust with its shoppers. Nordstrom, Costco, and L.L. Bean have no time limit for returns, and the rest of the stores on this list have pretty enticing time frames as well.
Gizmodo: If You Are an Idiot, You May Want to Spend $490,000 in this Nintendo Wii Made of Gold – Here’s your obligatory polar-opposite-of-frugal post for this week. The Nintendo Wii Supreme is custom-built over six months from 5.5 pounds of solid 22-carat gold. Looks like this company has got the prepubescent billionaire demographic nailed! Seriously though, whoever buys one of these should be severely beaten while their Wii Supreme is stolen, sold, and the money given to charity.
I’m not quite sure what the holiday blogging schedule looks like, so if I’m not back for a while, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!