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Herding Cats: Kindle Fire, Bank of America Debit Card Fee and The Listeria Outbreak

By (view all posts by Dealman)
at 11:58AM Friday September 30, 2011
under Loose Change

Image courtesy of ICanHasCheezburger

This week we've got Bank of America's new fees, the listeria outbreak, the Kindle Fire, the Wall Street protests, feeding a family of five on $100, tips for winning the lottery, and cats eating weird things.
L.A. Times: Debit card fees: Outrage triggers backlash against BofA - I'm slightly torn about the new Bank of America fees. It's annoying that with new regulations on banks that they'd look to find money elsewhere. I also totally understand anger that banks have been bailed out for billions of dollars and banks are turning a profit, so they don't necessarily need the rate hike. But I can live with a $5 monthly fee. I don't love it, of course, but in the scope of all the bills I pay every month, this is pretty minor. What would be nice is if BofA would hire back the 30,000 they recently laid off after raising the fee. Which they won't do--which makes the fee, on balance, a pretty terrible reflection on BofA.

Chicago Sun Times: Cantaloupe crisis lesson: Some food should always be avoided  - There's a new outbreak of listeria in California, on top of the cantaloupe outbreak in Colorado, which killed 16 people.  So what can you do? The trouble is that the answer is not a lot: even if food was properly washed and prepared, this does not offer complete protection from an outbreak. Really the only thing you can do is avoid these fruits or vegetables entirely.  That said, there are some steps you can take and this article has some good tips: eat food soon after purchase, wash thoroughly, and keep your fridge 40 degrees or lower. Chances are, though, that people aren't going to risk it.

Fox News: Comparing Apples and Fire: iPad Vs. Kindle - The Kindle Fire seemed like a really bad name: books and burning don't go together. But, the iPad also seemed like a terrible name, and I'm used to it. I have an iPad and it's one of the better purchases I've ever made. I haven't got my hands on the Fire, but this post doesn't make it sound entirely useful. It's mainly an enhanced e-reader, but you can get a Kindle for $79. If you're looking for an e-reader and saving money, that would be the way to go, rather than think you're "saving" by purchasing something $200 cheaper than an iPad. Really, depends on how you're going to use it: if you're looking for a web/movie device for cheaper, this could be a way to go.  Read Rick's post for an additional breakdown of the new Kindle.

Huffington Post: Wall Street Protesters: Middle Class Issues  - So what's happening in New York City right now? First off, Radiohead is not playing--that was just a rumor. There's a lot of criticism that Occupy Wall Street doesn't have any set demands. But that's sort of the point. People are angry at a lot of different things. These airline pilots probably aren't there to protest the bailouts, for example. It's good to see people trying to get their voice heard, as there is a lot of injustice to be protesting these days, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.

Wisebread: How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week - Now that Savings.com has grocery coupons, this post comes at a good time. $100 for five people sounds fairly impossible. In part, this depends on where you live. I've lived in places like Minneapolis and Los Angeles, and it's much easier to save money on the exact same bill in a place like Minneapolis, where rent is lower, than in L.A. Still, some good tips here.  Check out Frugalistic Mom for more "Feeding 5 on $100" tips, which is an ongoing series.

Money Crashers: What to Do if You Win the Lottery - Some practical advice here for when the inevitable happens: winning the lottery. Actually, it's a pretty interesting read, and maybe some fantasy fulfillment about everything you might do if you ever hit it big. The truth is, many lottery winners go bankrupt, so these are real concerns if you do win, or come into a lot of money some other way.

How about you? What's the first thing you'd buy if you won the lottery?  Me: a car.  That is, after buying a solid gold house.

Cat videos of the week: cats eating things I didn't know cats ate.  I'm going to try this.