Money-saving tips from The Bargainist

Knock Offs or the Real Thing? When To Save on Fake

Posted on 09/12/2011

Having a tough time deciding when to go fake and when to go Fendi? There is a lot of money to be saved with knockoffs, but they can also be a complete waste of resources because of shoddy workmanship and poor quality. Here are a few circumstances when affordable knockoffs can be better than the real thing.

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Affordable Gifts that Honor September 11 Victims

Posted on 09/09/2011

There are many ways to honor the thousands of people who lost their lives through the terror attacks of September 11. It’s important that we remember those victims and celebrate their lives. One way to do that is through symbolic and meaningful gifts.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: What Fall Fashion Purchases are You Planning?

Posted on 09/08/2011

From brightly colored jeans to the perfect fall boots, shopping for a new season can be fun. But since most of us have tightly fitting budgets we wanted to know what fresh pieces you’re planning to add to your fall wardrobe.

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Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of September 11th

Posted on 09/07/2011

It’s hard to believe a decade has passed since the horrific events of September 11. Just about everyone remembers exactly where they were when America was attacked. It will never be a typical day, which is why it’s important to find meaningful ways to commemorate 9/11.

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Enjoy Fall Fashion Week for Free

Posted on 09/06/2011

Fall Fashion Week 2011 runs from September 8-15. It’s a full week of hot looks and fresh trends for spring 2012. While creating a new wardrobe may be way out of your budget, you can still enjoy Fashion Week events for free.

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Affordable Ways to Support Literacy

Posted on 09/02/2011

International Literacy Day is held each year on September 8. It’s a way to not only celebrate reading, writing and literacy, but also to help those who lack access to reading education and materials.

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Experiencing Space Without Leaving Earth

Posted on 09/01/2011

Despite decades of denial by the Department of Defense and NASA, Hollywood is claiming that America sent two astronauts to the moon in 1972. The story of Apollo 18 and its “lost” footage is revealed in theaters nationwide September 2. While you may never get to actually walk on the moon, you can still experience space without leaving earth (or sending your savings into a black hole.)

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Free Ways to Better Yourself in Honor of Self Improvement Month

Posted on 08/30/2011

September is Self-Improvement Month. Before the rush of the holiday season takes over and your life becomes all about everyone else, now is the time to focus on you. Celebrate Self-Improvement Month by becoming an enhanced version of you with these free ways to better yourself.

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Fall Lineup: TV Shows With a Financial Focus

Posted on 08/29/2011

The five major networks—ABC, NBC, CBS, CW and FOX—are premiering about two dozen new shows this fall. The sitcoms, dramas and crime thrillers will join the programs you’re already accustomed to. Many of these shows, including some you’ll find on cable networks, have a financial focus.

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Labor Day Getaways: Low Cost Destinations

Posted on 08/26/2011

Looking forward to a long weekend this Labor Day? It may be your last chance this summer to take off for a much-needed vacation. Don’t worry if your summer travel budget is tapped. There are low cost Labor Day destinations ready to welcome you for some late summer fun.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: What Do You Think of Teachers Spending Their Own Money on Classroom Supplies?

Posted on 08/25/2011

Cincinnati’s Taft Elementary started the school year with a major music room makeover that included décor, drums, guitars and keyboards. Presented through the Mentos Rocks program, music teacher Ms. Laura Max had been holding instruments together with packing tape and using homemade instruments like buckets instead of drums. She’s one of thousands of teachers forced to use their own cash to keep the classroom functioning. In honor of those giving teachers we wanted to know your thoughts on educators who spend their own money on supplies.

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The Biggest Financial Threats Facing College Kids

Posted on 08/24/2011

According to a 2010 study, five times as many college and high school students deal with anxiety and mental issues now than compared with youth from the Great Depression era. Experts say many of those anxiety issues are due to financial stress. If you know a student heading to campus for the fall—or if you are one—take note of these financial threats facing college kids.

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Low Cost Ways to Make Your Child's Lunch More Appealing

Posted on 08/23/2011

Studies prove that kids who eat healthy breakfasts and lunches earn better grades than those who have an unhealthy diet. They’re able to stay more alert and focused on their school work. That means parents should not take their job of packing lunches lightly. Here are low cost ways to make your child’s lunch more appealing.

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Affordable Ways to Have a Relaxing Labor Day Weekend

Posted on 08/22/2011

Labor Day may conjure up thoughts of working, but it’s actually a great holiday for relaxing. Say goodbye to summer by enjoying the simpler things in life, which thankfully don’t cost much money at all.

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Movies That Can Teach Kids About Money

Posted on 08/19/2011

In a world doing all it can to tell your children that they should want the newest, shiniest, toy or the coolest, fastest gadget, it can be difficult to instill important financial lessons. Try speaking them through a medium they understand: movies. These kid flicks are entertaining and can also help you teach your kids about money.

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Ways to Help Teachers Keep Their Classrooms Stocked

Posted on 08/18/2011

According to a survey by Kelton Research, 97% of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies. Last year $350 was the average teachers took from their own pockets to pay for supplies and materials, according to the National School Supply and Equipment Association. Help lift the burden of providing paper, pencils and more by keeping classrooms stocked.

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Five Ways the New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Can Help You

Posted on 08/15/2011

There’s a brand new government office designed to protect you by monitoring consumer financial products. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established as a part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Whether you’ve heard about this new bureau or not, here are five ways it can serve you.

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The Most (And Least) Affordable Colleges and Universities

Posted on 08/10/2011

Did you know there’s an entire government website dedicated to revealing the best and worst deals in higher education? The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires financial details to be posted on the College Navigator website in order to increase transparency surrounding the cost of college. According to, here are the best bargains and highest priced colleges and universities.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: What's Your Favorite Way to Spend $10?

Posted on 08/09/2011

Ten bucks may not buy a whole lot these days, but you certainly have some great ideas on how to spend it. In our latest Twitter and Facebook poll we wanted to know—what’s your favorite way to blow $10? Here’s what you told us.

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Top Cost-Friendly Online Retailers for Back to School Clothes

Posted on 08/08/2011

Kids grow fast so chances are anything you bought last summer before heading back to school won’t work this year. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American family spends $606.40 on clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics during back-to-school shopping sprees. That’s quite a bit of cash so you may want to consider shopping at one of these cost-friendly online retailers.

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Getting a Good Deal on House Cleaning Services

Posted on 08/05/2011

The Help hits theaters August 10. The film is based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book by the same name. The Help tells the story of unlikely friendship between women in 1960s Mississippi: housekeepers and well-to-do housewives. While housekeepers may not be as common as they once were, we can all use a little help now and then. If you need assistance around the house consider these deals on cleaning services.

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Ways to Donate Your Birthday for a Good Cause

Posted on 08/04/2011

Rachel Paul had a dream for her 9th birthday. It wasn’t the typical 9-year-old birthday dream of Justin Bieber CDs, Barbie dolls and video games. She had a dream of giving clean water to people she’d never meet. Rachel died in a 13-car accident outside of Seattle, prompting thousands of people to give to her birthday dream. If you’re inspired by Rachel’s selflessness, consider donating your birthday to a worthy cause.

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Interesting Ways the Government is Trying to Spend Tax Dollars Wisely

Posted on 08/03/2011

Intense debate over our country’s finances continues. Some Americans are pleading for additional spending cuts while others hope to see higher taxes on the wealthy. But in the midst of the debt ceiling discussion, some interesting money-saving moves are already being done in an effort to spend tax dollars wisely.

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A Guide For Getting the Most From Your Sales Tax Holiday

Posted on 08/02/2011

When kids head back-to-school, parents often need to head to the store. From school supplies to new tennis shoes, there can be plenty of things on your back-to-school shopping list. A good time to take care of these purchases is during a sales tax holiday. More than a dozen states offer these in July and August, making it a great time to save some cash on things like clothing, footwear and school supplies.

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Amy Winehouse's Will: What Can You Learn From It?

Posted on 08/01/2011

Amy Winehouse died tragically at the young age of 27. And despite the sometimes erratic life she lived, she did manage to keep her affairs in order. Before the details of Winehouse’s will were released to the public many wondered if her ex would secure her fortune, including the rights to the singer’s yet-to-be published third album. But the good news is Winehouse had an ironclad will—something we can all learn from.

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Ten Affordable Must-Haves For Every Dorm Room

Posted on 07/29/2011

Since dorm rooms are almost completely devoid of anything besides a bed and a desk, you’ll need to do some shopping before heading off to school. Don’t worry if your decorating budget is limited—you can pick up these dorm room must-haves at very affordable prices.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: What's Been Your Best Garage Sale Find?

Posted on 07/28/2011

Summer is a great time for scoring deals at yard sales and garage sales. We’ve heard rumors of those lucky ducks that’ve scored Rembrandt paintings for a buck or Civil War relics for a quarter. So we wanted to hear about your best garage sale finds so we asked for the details on Twitter and Facebook.

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Secrets to Saving Money on School Supplies

Posted on 07/27/2011

Public school teachers spent more than $1.33 billion of their own money last year on school supplies and instructional materials, according to research from the National School Supply and Equipment Association. Teachers spent on average $356 of their own money on stuff for the classroom, including an average of $170 on supplies. Relieve some of the burden off your child’s teacher by using these tips for saving money on school supplies.

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Finding a Part-Time Job Once the School Year Starts

Posted on 07/26/2011

The job market is brutal for just about everyone—including teens and college students looking for part-time work. That’s because they’re not only competing for jobs against others in their age group, but adults are also applying for part-time positions. For students that took the summer off, they may be interested in earning an income once the school year starts and these tips for finding work will help.

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The Best Freebies Found on Most College Campuses

Posted on 07/25/2011

College can be an incredibly expensive investment. So why not make the most of it while you can? Get the biggest bang for your tuition buck by taking advantage of these freebies found on most college campuses.

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