Personal Finance 
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McDonald’s Dollar Menu to disappear soon

McDonalds Double Menu will soon disappearIf you’re the type who has a $1-a-day McDonald’s habit, prepare to be disappointed.

McDonald’s “Dollar Menu” will suddenly disappear starting Nov. 4 (no word yet on whether the Hamburglar is involved). In its place will be “Dollar Menu & More” with higher prices on some old Dollar Menu favorites, as well as some more expensive items in the mix. Prices will transition from a uniform $1 to a range between $1 and $5, according to Ad Age.


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 Personal Finance 
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Data shows spending on basics up

Transportation costs increased
This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual survey of how American households spend their money last year.
The results seem to validate feelings among Americans that it’s getting harder for the average family to make it on their current income. Spending on necessities like transportation and food are up substantially, while spending on more elective items, like apparel and entertainment, are falling or basically flat.

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 Frugal Living 
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Five Ways to Save Money on Food

KitchenThe number one way to save money is by learning how to cook. You might have a hectic schedule and be exhausted at the end of the day but push yourself to prepare a nice meal. You’ll get to enjoy it, expand your knowledge about cooking, and eat better than ordering it from some fast food place. You won’t be good at it in the beginning but over time your skills will improve and you’ll enjoy it even more.

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 Personal Finance 
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Bonefish Grill’s Give, Get & Win Sweepstakes

Bonefish GrillBonefish Grill, a seafood restaurant owned by OSI Restaurant Partners (they own, among others, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s, and one of our favorite restaurants – Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion restaurant), is running a special holiday gift card offer where if you give $100 in gift cards, you automatically get a $20 gift card, valid Jan. 1 – Feb. 10, 2010, plus an entry into their Give, Get and Win Sweepstakes. If you win the sweepstakes, you could win $5,000 cash and $5,000 you can give to a charity of your choice. You can buy the certificate in a restaurant or online but you have to register the card online to participate in the sweepstakes.

A Maryland/DC/Virginia chili chain, Hard Times Cafe, always does this same type of promotion around the holidays and until they closed the one near us, we used to buy at least a $100 in gift certificates because it was any easy $20 off. If you live near a Bonefish Grill and you enjoy their food, taking this promotion is a no brainer. If you don’t, well… then it doesn’t really make much sense, now does it? :)

I also have a bonus today, as Bonefish Grill has given us a $25 gift certificate to give away to one lucky Bargaineering.com. First, check to see that there is a local Bonefish Grill near where you live. Then, if you have one nearby and you would like to win the certificate, just leave a comment below with the menu item you’d most likely get the next time you visited before Sunday, November 22nd for your chance to win.

Me? I’d probably get the Chilean Sea Bass in a Pan Asian glaze. Mmm… I do love me that Patagonian toothfish. :)

This contest is void where prohibited. Good luck!

Congratulations to Seth!


 Frugal Living 
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Make Your Own Dog Food

Spilled Dog FoodSimplyForties made a comment in the forums about how she made her own dog food, an idea I had never considered. Naturally, I turned to the power of Google to help enlighten me how whether making our own dog food made sense. I know a lot of people that feed their dogs human food but we wanted to avoid that because it’s difficult to regulate nutrition through human food. With dog food, it’s a lot easier because you know almost exactly how much nutrition is in each serving.

Always consult your veterinarian before making your own dog food. You’ll want to be absolutely certain what you should and shouldn’t put into your food. Never put in onions, chocolate or grapes as each contain things that are dangerous for your dog. You might also want to talk to them to get a better sense of which supplements and vitamins you might want to include in your dog’s food.


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 Personal Finance 
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April 2009 Roundup: Finances, Food & Fun

Stack of TextbooksStarting this month I’ll be doing a monthly roundup of some posts I found particular entertaining, interesting, or informative. I won’t inundate you with a list of posts, each one will be carefully selected and given some context.

This month I’ve been doing a lot of food blog reading since I’ve been writing about a variety of cooking topics, like making bread crumbs and pizza crusts, so I found a couple foodie blogs to share with you all. I hope you like this new monthly feature!

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 Frugal Living 
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Frugal and Convenient Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast can be a very frugal meal, if you have time to prepare it. Unfortunately, time is a big problem when it comes to breakfast. My kids get up at 6:15 every morning, so they can catch the school bus at 7:15. If I were to get up to make them breakfast every day, I’d have to get up at 5:45. And that idea doesn’t appeal to me at all.

When I found myself turning to expensive breakfast cereals day after day, I started looking for a better solution. I began making my own convenience breakfast foods. They’re much more nutritious, and frugal, than their store bought counterparts. I’ll start you off with a couple of ideas, but the possibilities are endless.

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 Frugal Living 
12
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Making Homemade Bread Crumbs

Bread CrustsAs some of you may know, I volunteer at Meals on Wheels every Tuesday morning. One of the perks of donating two hours each week is that I sometimes take home a meal, when there are extras, and I often get a bag of bread loaf ends, that would otherwise get thrown out. I was talking with Rhonda, our Meals on Wheels kitchen coordinator extraordinaire (among other good things), and she recommended that I turn them into breadcrumbs. I only started taking the ends last week and I’ve just been eating them, making breadcrumbs is so much more exciting!

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