woman with shopping bag in London

Throwing Away the ‘Retail Therapy’ Crutch

Mary wrote in with a brilliant question that I feel deserves a much longer answer than what fits into the weekly mailbag. Here’s Mary’s problem:

04.17.15
Aldi grocery store

ALDI, Fareway, and the Value of Discount Grocery Stores

Recently, I came across a great article about ALDI in Forbes Magazine. For those unfamiliar, ALDI is a discount retailer in the eastern half of

Gift card kiosk

Guide to the Gift Card Economy

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, gift cards continue to be one of the most popular presents to give and receive. According to a study by

03.25.15
cat in the foreground of clothing swap party

Five Reasons to Love a Clothing Swap (and How to Host Your Own)

I’ve always loved to shop. And I’ve always really loved to shop for anything wearable. Cowboy boots and maxi dresses. Cozy sweaters and dangly earrings.

The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Coupons and Discounts

Well, “ultimate” might be a bit of hyperbole, but I thought it would be useful to collect together all of the things I’ve learned about

03.19.15

15 Buying Recommendations for Everyday Things

Over the last several months, a number of questions for the reader mailbag have revolved around what exactly I buy for various common household purchases.

02.27.15

Expensive Items and Buying for Life

One common question I get in the reader mailbags concerns buying items for life. Given the prevalence of these questions – and many of the

02.24.15

12 Money-Saving Food Strategies My Family Uses

Over the years, our family has steadily built up a number of little “food hacks” that we use to save money and time when buying

02.11.15

Seven Strategies for Haggling at Stores (Even Large Chain Stores)

One of my big goals over the last few years was to improve my haggling skills. In the past, I always felt as though it

Woman using iPad while cooking

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Meal Planning

When the alarm sounds each morning, it’s time to hit the ground running. It doesn’t matter if you’re well rested or are in desperate need

01.31.15
Woman in a bookstore

My Five Worst Money Traps – and How I Handle Them

As proud as I am of our positive financial progress over the last several years, there are still big areas of my life where I

01.28.15
Apple Pay

The 21st Century Wallet: Will Mobile Payments Go Mainstream?

When I set out to write about the pros and cons of mobile payment or electronic wallet technologies, I assumed it would be a simple

Debt-Free Payment Methods: Alternatives to Cash

Whether it’s Target, Home Depot, or Sony, it seems like every couple of months another huge corporation is hacked, exposing vast amounts of customer information. So it’s no wonder

01.16.15
Buying foods in bulk doesn't mean you have to cook in bulk as well. Photo: Wonderlane

Can You Save Money by Becoming Vegetarian?

Beef prices hit record highs last summer and prices for beef, pork, and eggs are expected to climb throughout 2015. Meanwhile, a growing body of research indicates that

01.15.15
Baby toes. Photo: Gabi Menashe

What Do New Parents Really Need?

If you ask baby boomers how parenting has changed over the years, many can name a host of once-safe practices that have since been outlawed. People

coupons and scissors

Five Indispensable Apps to Save Money When You Shop

How many people still clip coupons from the newspaper? And if you do manage to find the time to sit down and review weekly coupon

12.31.14
Costco rotisserie chicken

Six Strategies for Maximizing the Value of a Warehouse Club

Over the holidays, I had a great conversation with several relatives about the compared merits of Sam’s Club and Costco (our conclusion was that you

budget pie

Five Reasons Your Budget Isn’t Working

If you don’t use any kind of written budget, you have lots of company. According to a Gallup poll, only about a third of Americans prepared a

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