Money-saving tips from The Bargainist

How to Maximize Your Tax Refund

Posted on 03/08/2011

According to the Internal Revenue Service the average tax refund this year will be about $3,000. That’s roughly 5% more than the checks received last year. Make sure you do more with that money by maximizing your tax refund.

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Fun and Free St. Patrick's Day Traditions

Posted on 03/07/2011

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. March 17 is a fun time to pull on a little green, eat some corned beef and spend time with friends. Here are some free and fun St. Patrick’s Day traditions that will help you feel like you’ve got the luck of the Irish on your side.

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How Lent Can Help Your Finances

Posted on 03/04/2011

For many Christians the celebration of lent begins on Ash Wednesday and runs until the Saturday before Easter. It’s a season to commemorate Jesus’ death and resurrection by praying, repenting and giving up something important to you. Letting go of a vice isn’t easy—especially when it hits your pocketbook. Since many Americans struggle with putting their faith into their paychecks, lent may actually be a great time to focus on getting your finances in order.

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The Best (and Worst) Deals at Bulk Discount Stores

Posted on 03/03/2011

Bulk discount stores like Costco, BJs and Sam’s Club can be a haven for good deals. But it’s easy to get caught up in the magic of wholesale shopping and actually end up overpaying. We’re giving you a rundown of the best and worst deals at bulk discount stores.

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New Orleans Mardi Gras Deals

Posted on 02/28/2011

It’s on a lot of peoples’ bucket lists—attending a New Orleans Mardi Gras is an unforgettable experience. Beads, beignets, Bourbon Street and one of the world’s biggest bashes can be yours on a budget with these New Orleans Mardi Gras deals.

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The Best Low Cost Baby Shower Gifts

Posted on 02/25/2011

You want to welcome that bundle of joy with open arms. But buying baby gifts can get expensive. Who knew something so little could already need so much stuff? Before you decide to skip this festive occasion due to finances, consider these low cost baby shower gifts.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: How Much Will You Spend on Spring Break Travel?

Posted on 02/24/2011

Bust out the bikinis—spring break is on the way! We wanted to know what kind of budget you’ve got for spring break travel. We used Twitter and Facebook to ask how much you plan to spend on upcoming trips. Looks like some of you have big plans and others are staying put.

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Oscar Season: Save Money on Movie-Going

Posted on 02/23/2011

Oscar season is in full force. It’s a great time of year to take in all of the award-winning films. But with dozens of nominations in 24 categories, seeing all of those movies can get expensive. Whether you’re a movie buff or not, you’ll love these ways to save money on movie-going.

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Springing for a Break: How to Cut Costs on Spring Travel

Posted on 02/22/2011

Does this brutal winter have you itching for a break? Whether you’re hoping for Key West or Cancun, fun can fit into your budget this spring break. Especially if you use these cost cutting travel tips.

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Mardi Gras Party Deals and Discounts

Posted on 02/21/2011

If you need a reason to plan a party, Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday) could be it. It’s a festive, fun celebration that revolves around food, music and feathered masks. Plus with these awesome Mardi Gras party deals and discounts you can throw a bash and still have some money left over on Ash Wednesday.

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Ways to Turn Your Search Engine into a Cash Engine

Posted on 02/18/2011

Do you know how much search engines like Google and Yahoo! earn every minute? Let’s just say it’s probably enough to buy everyone in America a steak dinner tonight. Instead of lining the pockets of those rich tech guys, try getting a piece of the pie for yourself. Here are ways to turn your search engine into a cash engine.

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The Cost of Oscar Fashion

Posted on 02/17/2011

Celebrities attending the Oscars often look like a million bucks—and that could be because that’s what it cost to complete their ensembles. The red carpet rolls out on February 27 for the 83rd annual Academy Awards. Here’s a look at the funds it takes to pull off Oscar fashion. But keep in mind that celebrities that don’t fork over the dough could end up on the worst dressed list.

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US Presidents and Money: Fun Financial Facts

Posted on 02/16/2011

Did you know that Ulysses S. Grant got a $20 speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast down a Washington street? There are lots of fun financial facts when it comes to our US Presidents. And in honor of February 21, 2011, Presidents Day, here are some other interesting connections between money and the leaders of America.

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What to Do When Your Car Lease Ends

Posted on 02/15/2011

Lots of drivers lease their cars. For roughly three to five years you drive, make payments, and probably don’t think much about what happens when your time is up. But what do you do when that lease is coming to an end? Here are some steps to consider.

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Cutting Costs: Services You Can Split

Posted on 02/14/2011

Shouldering the burden of expenses solo can put a heavy strain on your bank account. But a great way to save money and cut costs is by using a lesson you probably learned in kindergarten: sharing. Not sure where you can pull this off successfully? Try splitting these services.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: What Would You Say if a Family Member Asked for Money?

Posted on 02/11/2011

It’s a sticky situation—someone you love asks for money. Financial experts advise to tread carefully when it comes to loved ones and money. So we wanted to know what you would do if a family member asked for money. Through Twitter and Facebook you told us whether you would hand over the cash or turn them away.

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Reality TV Stars with Real Financial Problems

Posted on 02/10/2011

They may win loads of cash or live in fancy houses, but that doesn’t mean that reality stars don’t have their own share of financial trouble. In fact lately it seems like they may have more of it. Here is a rundown of some of the reality TV stars with real financial problems.

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Love and Money: How to Make Money Talks Less Awkward

Posted on 02/09/2011

You can talk to your significant other about what they love, what they hate, where they want to travel and what they want to accomplish. But talking about the root of all those things—money—can be difficult. Financial experts say money and money problems are the leading cause of divorce which means communication is key. Make those money talks less awkward with these tips.

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Easy and Cheap Handmade Valentine's Gifts

Posted on 02/08/2011

Spreading the love doesn’t have to mean forking over cash. Even if you’re on a tight budget you can still pull together a great gift for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day. We found cool, creative and romantic handmade Valentine’s gifts that were both easy and cheap.

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Affordable Cold-Weather Gear

Posted on 02/07/2011

You don’t have to be caught under a snow drift on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago to know that it’s cold out there. Snow is blanketing more than a dozen states and most are still feeling the chill of winter. The good news is retailers are already marking down coats, hats and scarves so if you still need cold weather gear, we found out where you can pick it up at the most affordable price.

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Deals on Valentine's Day Cards

Posted on 02/03/2011

Send some love this Valentine’s Day with a cute, romantic or funny card. It’s a low-cost way to let your friends and family know you care—especially when you shop Valentine’s Day card deals like these.

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Cheap Last Minute Super Bowl Party Tips

Posted on 02/02/2011

Planning a bash to watch the year’s best commercials, erm, I mean, football? Super Bowl Sunday is approaching faster than Brett Favre’s court date. Get your party plans in order with these cheap, last minute entertaining tips.

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The Groundhog Day Cycle: Avoid Repeating the Same Financial Mistakes

Posted on 02/01/2011

Groundhog Day is best known as the day when Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow to forecast the arrival of spring. If he sees his shadow winter continues for six more weeks. If he doesn’t, then warmer weather is on the way. This repetitive celebration was highlighted in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day.” And it’s a great time to ask yourself if you’re falling into the trap of repetition. Make this year different and avoid repeating the same financial mistakes by breaking the Groundhog Day cycle.

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The Royal Wedding: An Early Look at the Cost of Prince William and Kate's Big Day

Posted on 01/28/2011

You can bet handmade invitations and DIY decorations won’t be a part of the royal union of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, better known as Kate. About 2,000 people are expected to be invited to the event of the decade. No expense will likely be spared when these two get hitched on April 29, 2011.

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How to Determine Whether You Should Do Your Own Taxes or Hire a Pro

Posted on 01/27/2011

You probably don’t want to do your taxes, but you probably don’t want to fork over cash for someone else to do them either. More than half of taxpayers pay a pro to do their taxes according to the Internal Revenue Service. If you’re wondering whether to tackle taxes yourself or hire a pro to help, here are some clues.

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Hollywood Hits: Budgets of 2011 Oscar Nominated Films

Posted on 01/26/2011

The nominees have been named for the 83rd annual Academy Awards. Ten films are competing for Best Picture and for the most part, you won’t see a huge, budget-busting epic among them. Wondering how much it cost to make these Hollywood hits? Check out these budgets of the 2011 Oscar nominated films.

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Questions to Ask Your Tax Preparer

Posted on 01/25/2011

You’ve probably already noticed tax preparation companies popping up in strip malls and storefronts all over the place. But how do you know if your tax preparer is a good fit? Asking questions like these will help.

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Super TV Deals for Super Bowl Sunday

Posted on 01/24/2011

It’s official. The Pittsburgh Steelers will face off against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, February 6. FOX is broadcasting the game, but how you watch it will depend on you. Need an excuse for a new TV in time for the game? Here are some super TV deals for Super Bowl Sunday.

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Twitter and Facebook Poll: What are You Most Dreading Paying More For This Year?

Posted on 01/21/2011

Gas, food, insurance—there isn’t much that experts say won’t cost us more in 2011. So that’s why we polled you through Facebook and Twitter to find out what you’re most dreading paying more for this year. Looks like plenty of you plan to be reaching into your pocketbooks and pulling out bigger fistfuls of cash.

P.S. Don't forget to follow @Bargainist on Twitter for the latest savings and steals!

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Money Mix Up: How Prince William and Kate's Financial Backgrounds Could Impact Marriage

Posted on 01/20/2011

In less than 100 days the wedding the world is waiting for will finally take place when Prince William and Kate Middleton say “I do.” But some people are predicting trouble in the castle because Prince William is royalty and, well, his fiancée Kate Middleton is not. Kate Middleton is from the middle class. She never had servants or limos or vacation homes. So can this couple with vastly different views of money make it? Most experts agree Prince William and Kate’s varying financial backgrounds could impact their marriage. Here’s how.

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