Money-saving tips from The Bargainist

Apps to Help You with Spring Cleaning and Organizing

Posted on 03/19/2012

Whip your home into shape with the help of your Smartphone. Now that spring is here, it’s time to start thinking about tackling spring cleaning. Thankfully there are now apps to help you get the job done. You won’t be able to put away the mop and bucket, but at least you can be more high tech in your approach.

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Avoiding Pain at the Pump: Ways to Earn Free Fuel

Posted on 03/16/2012

Gas is like liquid gold right now and experts say your trip to the pump is only going to get pricier. It’s time to start getting creative about how to avoid the pain at the pump. Check out these unique ways to earn free fuel.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: How Are Gas Prices Impacting You?

Posted on 03/15/2012

If your trips to the pump seem to be getting more painful by the day you’re not alone. According to AAA, the current national average for a gallon of Regular Unleaded gas is $3.82. That’s about $.30 higher than a month ago and $.27 higher than a year ago. As summer approaches some experts are predicting prices could go even higher, possibly surpassing the high of $4.11 set in July of 2008. We wanted to know how rising gas prices are impacting the rest of your life. Here’s what you told us through Facebook and Twitter.

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Ten Low Cost Ways to be More Nutritious

Posted on 03/14/2012

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is hoping you “get your plate in shape” during March, which is National Nutrition Month. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing good eating habits, which doesn’t have to mean a higher grocery bill. Check out these ten ways to be more nutritious on a budget.

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How to Enjoy Spring Break at Home

Posted on 03/13/2012

Jumping gas prices may prompt some spring break travelers to plan a staycation rather than an adventurous getaway. But spring break can be fun whether you’re in an exotic location or exploring your own community. Here are the top ways to enjoy spring break at home.

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St. Patrick's Day Fun: Low Cost Ways to Celebrate Your Irish Heritage

Posted on 03/12/2012

More than 45 million Americans claim Irish heritage, making it the second largest ethnic group in the country. If you’re of Irish descent now is the time to celebrate your roots with some low cost St. Patrick’s Day fun.

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Refund Anticipation Loans: Helpful or Scam?

Posted on 03/09/2012

For those who expect a tax refund, you may think you can’t get that windfall in your bank account fast enough. That’s why some people turn to Refund Anticipation Loans. It’s a quick, short-term personal loan that uses a person’s IRS tax refund as collateral so that the borrower can get the cash even before Uncle Sam cuts their check. Some say it’s helpful, others say it’s a scam. Here’s a look at both sides.

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Top Tips to Boost Your iPad 2 Trade-In for an iPad 3

Posted on 03/07/2012

For Apple fans, the anticipation of the iPad 3’s arrival is palpable. According to you can earn around $300 for your iPad 2 using trade-in services like Nextworth, BuyMyTronics and eBay. That’s a good chunk of change to put towards your new iPad 3 when it becomes available to the general public.

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Affordable Ways to Celebrate Women's History Month

Posted on 03/06/2012

March is a time set aside to pay tribute to generations of women who have made an invaluable impact on society. Women’s History Month started as a national celebration in 1987 and each year is given a different theme. For 2012, the theme is Women’s Education—Women’s Empowerment. Get educated and be inspired with these affordable ideas.

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Free and Cheap Ways to Sleep Better

Posted on 03/05/2012

Many of us covet more quality time with our mattress. And since National Sleep Awareness Week falls from March 5-11 now is the time to focus on the importance of shut eye. We’ll all lose one hour of sleep this weekend with the arrival of Daylight Saving Time so it’s best that we make the most of our rest with these free and cheap ways to sleep better.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: Will You Spend or Save Your Tax Refund?

Posted on 03/02/2012

While you may dread tax season, getting your refund can be fun. Some people bank it, some people blow it, but judging by our latest Facebook and Twitter poll, many of you plan to do a little bit of both.

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Free Resources for Read Across America Day

Posted on 03/01/2012

Not only is March 2 Dr. Seuss’ birthday, it’s also Read Across America, sponsored by the National Education Association. The purpose of Read Across America is to encourage children in every community to celebrate reading. Thankfully there are lots of free resources to help educators, parents and children put reading on the calendar every day, not just March 2.

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Helpful Apps for Tax Time

Posted on 02/29/2012

The countdown is on—April 17, 2012 will be here before you know it. If the thought of Tax Day makes your stomach churn, then pull out your Smartphone. The key to a less stressful tax season could be just a trip to the app store away with these helpful apps for tax time.

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Free and Cheap Apps to Help You Plan and Enjoy a Spring Break Getaway

Posted on 02/28/2012

Before you stress out over planning the perfect spring break, turn to your Smartphone for help. There are apps to assist you with every aspect of planning—from managing expenses with friends to finding the most affordable food at your destination.

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The Race for the White House: A Look at Campaign Finances

Posted on 02/27/2012

The GOP race is heating up and narrowing down. On March 6, also known as Super Tuesday, voters in ten states will head to the polls for primaries or caucuses. In addition to finding out where each candidate stands on top issues like the economy, education and national security, many voters are looking at the numbers to investigate how much each candidate is spending, what they pay in taxes and just how generous they really are.

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Tax Prep Debate: DIY or Hire a Pro?

Posted on 02/24/2012

Whether you’re expecting a tax refund or will have to pay out of pocket, it’s going to cost you an average of $258 to get your taxes prepared. According to, about three in five taxpayers now pay CPAs, enrolled agents, H&R Block or other services to prepare their tax returns. Twenty-nine percent of Americans choose to use software like TurboTax. Cost aside, here are some clues that will guide you in deciding whether to do your taxes yourself or hire a professional.

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How to Get Oscar-Worthy Looks on a Budget

Posted on 02/23/2012

When the stars collide on the red carpet for the Oscars you can expect to see pops of Chanel, glimpses of Gaultier and a round or two of Armani. But we know that celebrities don’t have all the fun so if you’re hunting for an Oscar-worthy look on a non-movie star budget, here are some options.

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How to Use Leap Day to Improve Your Finances

Posted on 02/22/2012

Every four years we all get an extra day: 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds. Some of us will waste it, but if we’re smart we’ll use February 29 to do something productive. Here are some tips for using Leap Day to improve your finances.

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The Hottest (And Most Affordable) Spring Break Destinations for 2012

Posted on 02/21/2012

Don’t stay home—instead make spring break 2012 one of the hottest weeks of the year. And do it without breaking the bank. Visit one of these popular and affordable spring break destinations.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: How Would You Spend a $336.4 Million Powerball Win?

Posted on 02/21/2012

Someone in Rhode Island is one of the luckiest people on the planet. That person is holding the winning lottery ticket—a slip of paper worth $336.4 million ($210 million after taxes.) So far no one’s stepped forward for the third largest jackpot in history. So we thought it would be fun to dream a little bit—and apparently so did you. We received lots of feedback through Twitter and Facebook when we asked how you would spend the prize.

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Presidents’ Day Sales: Where to Shop for White House-Worthy Deals

Posted on 02/17/2012

We honor the first President of the United States, George Washington, in many ways: some of us get the day off from school, some don’t have to work and others score great deals on bedding, home goods and even cars. Presidents’ Day falls on Monday, February 20 this year. Celebrate our country’s leaders by scoring some White House-worthy deals.

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Leap Year Deals and Savings

Posted on 02/16/2012

It only happens once every four years—February gets a little longer. This year the extra day falls on Wednesday, February 29. Some retailers and businesses are using the additional time to boost business with these leap year deals and savings.

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Freebies and Games for Your Mardi Gras Celebration

Posted on 02/15/2012

Pull out your purple, green and gold—Mardi Gras is around the corner! Planning a festive bash? Before you blow your bead budget on games and décor, check out these Mardi Gras freebies.

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Celebrity Apprentice Season 5: A Look at Stars' Charities of Choice

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Posted on 02/14/2012

The only thing bigger than the serving of drama dished out each week on the new season of NBC’s reality hit Celebrity Apprentice are the egos put on display. The new cast makes its prime time debut on Sunday, February 19 and includes models, actors, talk show hosts and performers all hoping to impress the cashmere socks off of billionaire Donald Trump. And while many of the contestants may be on the show hoping to inject their careers with a shot of star power, they’re also competing for their charities of choice.

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Affordable Mardi Gras Costume Ideas

Posted on 02/13/2012

In New Orleans parades happen just about every day in February, but Mardi Gras officially falls on Tuesday, February 21 this year. With communities all over the country participating you definitely don’t have to be in New Orleans to enjoy some festive fun. Chances are most of your wardrobe is far too dull to celebrate properly so here are some low cost Mardi Gras costume ideas.

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American Heart Month: Affordable Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Posted on 02/10/2012

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke. Now is the time to fight back. February is American Hearth Month and with these affordable, simple steps, you can begin to improve your heart health.

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DIY Valentine's Day: Free Online Printables

Posted on 02/10/2012

Some people absolutely love Valentine’s Day, others, well, not so much. But the cool thing about this holiday of love is that you don’t have to spend much money to celebrate it well. Get some assistance from these free online printables and create beautiful, sentimental DIY gifts for loved ones.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: What Valentine's Day Purchases Are You Planning?

Posted on 02/09/2012

Retailers are feeling the love this Valentine’s Day season. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend 8.5% more this year than last. In fact, it’s the highest Valentine’s Day average in the survey’s 10-year history with the average person spending $126.03. The largest chunk will go towards jewelry, followed by an evening out and candy. That made us wonder, what Valentine’s purchases are you planning? Here’s what you told us through Facebook and Twitter.

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Cheaper Alternatives to Valentine's Day Chocolates and Roses

Posted on 02/06/2012

It appears that we as consumers are in love with spending money on chocolates and roses for our Valentines. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend $1.8 billion on flowers and $1.5 billion on candy. But if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to cupid’s Valentine’s Day staples, then try these ideas instead of buying chocolate and roses.

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Free Kid-Friendly Resources for Black History Month

Posted on 02/02/2012

Historian Carter G. Woodson started Negro History Week in 1926 and the event eventually became known as Black History Month, which is observed every February. Woodson’s original goal was to educate Americans about African American history. That’s still the point of Black History Month, making it a great opportunity for parents to pass on important lessons to their children using free kid-friendly resources like these.

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