Herding Cats: Our Favorite Savings Stories for the Week of February 14th
Happy Friday, savers! It’s not so happy for me though, because my friends are all snowboarding in Tahoe while I’m stuck on the clock at home.
Oh well, you know what they say: “Get money, get paid.” Consumerist: Man Spends $7K, One Year Battling Sonic Over $3.45 Overcharge, Resulting Arrest – There are infinite ways companies can screw over consumers with the ol’ bait-and-switch, but altering temporal reality is definitely something new and exotic. This poor guy probably should have cut his losses though. Getting belligerent with the manager got him criminal charges, but dropping a Consumerist-patented EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) instead might have won him an apology and some delicious free Sonic for his trouble.
SmartMoney: 10 Things Millionaires Won’t Tell You – I was right! According to this compilation of secrets of the rich, money can indeed buy happiness. And it’s funny to find out that millionaires clip coupons as much or even more often than we middle-class plebeians do. Low capital gains taxes and a private concierge sound pretty cool, but you can’t discount Biggie’s famous posthumous warning: “mo’ money, mo’ problems.”
WalletPop: NBA Faceoff Over Salaries Could Stuff The 2011-12 Season – Tough times are probably ahead for you NBA fans. The league is hemorrhaging money, and it looks like player salaries have outpaced what fans can afford to spend on tickets, so it’s a pretty safe bet that things are going to get very ugly once the owners try to enact “sweeping… retroactive changes” to existing contracts. Come Fall 2011, American might need Will Ferrell and the Flint Tropics to satisfy its pro basketball needs.
MainStreet: Buying Batteries? Beware Of Generics – Ditching name brands for cheap generics is all the rage these days, but here’s one product you shouldn’t mess around with. Consumer Reports found that standard AA batteries from CVS only had about 14% the juice of Energizers when tested in a digital camera. They also advise you to use rechargeables in power-draining devices you use all the time (keyboards, mice, cameras), but to stick with regular alkaline or lithium for things like flashlights and remote controls.
The New York Times: Booking A Flight The Frugal Way – Here’s an excellent comprehensive guide for all the sites you should check during the course of your flight planning process. For some reason I only found out about SeatExpert recently, and it’s an absolute lifesaver–a critique of every seat on every plane of every airline. Never again will you discover, to your horror, that the seat you’re about to occupy on a 12-hour flight from LAX to Heathrow doesn’t recline / has no legroom / is next to a lavatory.
Gizmodo: The Secret World Of Private BitTorrent Trackers – I frequently espouse (safe) media piracy as one of the best money-saving measures you can take–and if you’re a fellow swashbuckler you’ll find this article a pretty interesting read. As a proud member of the ultra-exclusive “Site X” featured within (the interview process to attain membership was excruciating), I can definitely attest to how well copyright enforcers have thwarted the millions of Limewire-using landlubbers and driven the rest of us deep underground to private torrent trackers.
Until next week, be nice to your local fast food workers–unless they lace your burger with seizure-inducing painkillers. In that case it would probably be okay to get a little angry.